Super League suspended as coronavirus outbreak hits rugby league

Super League executive chairman Robert Elstone says rugby league bowed to the inevitable in suspending all fixtures for the next fortnight.

Matches in both the Betfred Super League and the Coral Challenge Cup were played at the weekend when most sport was moth-balled due to the coronavirus pandemic as the Rugby Football League closely stuck to Government guidelines.

However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement that the Government was moving away from mass gatherings prompted a change of policy, with RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer saying: “Following the latest Government announcement, fixtures for the entire game will be suspended up until April 3.”

The RFL announcement was made in conjunction with Super League following a six-hour meeting of clubs in Huddersfield.

Elstone told reporters: “Super League clearly recognise the gravity of the situation. We’re very mindful of our responsibility to our community, to our fans and to our players and the way the decision felt inevitable.

“Now is a period of time where we look closely at the implications and our options. It’s a very fluid process, where it’s going to change certainly day to day if not more frequently.

“We just have to be nimble and flexible, most importantly us and the RFL need to be very closely joined in what it means in terms of fixtures and what it means in terms of finance and how we come out of this in as healthy a position as we can.”