RFU confirms end of domestic season except for Premiership

The decision was taken to help clubs prepare for next season
The decision was taken to help clubs prepare for next season

The Rugby Football Union has confirmed that all the competitions except the Premiership will be over for the 2019/20 season due to the pandemic coronavirus.

The England board said the decision was taken to help the clubs recover from the current situation prevailing in and around the country due to the spread of COVID-19 and also provide them time to comeback strong in the next season.

RFU also said that they are in talks with the Premiership about the remainder of the season with 13 rounds played and five weeks already suspended.

Prior, to the outbreak of the coronavirus, Premiership Rugby had confirmed Saracens will be relegated at the end of the season following breaches in salary cap which should help Newcastle Falcons' cause of returning to the top tier as they top the Championship with 100% record. However, an official confirmation is awaited on it.

"My thoughts and those of all of us at the RFU are with everyone impacted by COVID-19 as well as recent flooding events, both across the country at large but also within our own rugby union community," said RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney.

"In order to provide clarity and to assist with immediate and longer-term planning, the Rugby Football Union is announcing the end of the 2019/20 rugby season for all league, cup and county rugby in England. The only exception to this is the Gallagher Premiership, who we are in active discussions with to review possible best next steps.

"When current government advice on social distancing measures changes, we will naturally encourage rugby training and friendlies to recommence.

"I would like to personally thank everyone for their swift actions in suspending rugby activity, this is not an easy time and I know many of you will have concerns that go beyond the game."

Earlier, on Thursday, the Irish Rugby Football Union also confirmed the end of their domestic season.