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Bishop's Stortford season in National League 1 brought to an early end as RFU ends all rugby union below the Gallagher Premiership due to coronavirus




Bishop's Stortford have played their last game of 2019-20 after the RFU called time on the National League 1 campaign due to the coronavirus crisis.

The sport's governing body announced today (March 20) that all league, cup and county rugby in England had ended for this term, with the exception of the Gallagher Premiership.

It means Stortford will have no more fixtures under the guidance of director of rugby Andy Long, who is leaving the club at the end of the season.

Bishop's Stortford have played their last game of the 2019-20 season after the RFU called time on all action below the Gallagher Premiership. Picture: Vikki Lince
Bishop's Stortford have played their last game of the 2019-20 season after the RFU called time on all action below the Gallagher Premiership. Picture: Vikki Lince

The Silver Leys side have ended 12th in the table with six matches - against Old Elthamians, Canterbury, Rosslyn Park, Sale FC, Plymouth Albion and Cinderford - all being cancelled.

In a message to the rugby union community, RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney said: "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.

"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.

"We are working through the implications of ending the season early and have instigated a thorough process to ensure fair and balanced outcomes for the game. We will communicate these outcomes by the middle of April.

"While we would like to provide all the answers now, we need some time to get it right for the best interests of the game. Rest assured we are working on this as a priority and we will continue to send weekly updates to clubs."



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