Super League rugby suspended over coronavirus

Super League and the Rugby Football League announced on Monday they had decided to suspend their respective rugby league seasons until April 3 due to the spread of coronavirus.

While many major sports in the United Kingdom had already called a halt in response to COVID-19, there was a round of Challenge Cup matches this weekend.

But a change in government advice, warning against mass gatherings, led the RFL to change course and call a halt to all levels of the sport.

“These are unprecedented times, and they present significant financial and commercial implications for rugby league, which will be further considered during the period of suspension,” said the joint statement the RFL and Super League.

“Super League is also an international competition, and consideration has to be given to our clubs in Canada (Toronto Wolfpack) and France (Catalan Dragons), particularly around travel restrictions and scheduling fixtures.

“Player welfare and maintaining the integrity of the competition are key concerns moving forward. Equally our responsibilities to rugby league communities remain front of mind for all of us.”

While there are currently no confirmed case of coronavirus within rugby league, Toronto Wolfpack have said that four of their players are in self-isolation after reporting symptoms, and have stood down their playing staff as a result. (AFP)