KEIGHLEY Cougars will have to wait a while for the chance to pick up their first competitive win of the season, after the Rugby Football League and Super League Europe announced a suspension of fixtures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This will affect all clubs across the Betfred Super League (men's and women's), Championship and League One, initially until April 3.

Keighley were due to host Doncaster in their first home league game this weekend, but that and the following week's clash with Barrow Raiders at Cougar Park now look set to be rearranged.

Between now and April 3, the season’s structure and fixture rescheduling will be considered.

The news follows the latest Government advice regarding social contact and mass gatherings, which calls for non-essential contact to be avoided for the time being.

The Super League clubs discussed a range of contingency plans with the RFL at their board meeting in Huddersfield today, and the situation will be reviewed with broadcasters and sponsors throughout the initial suspension.

The RFL will have have further discussions of the implications at meetings of Championship and League One clubs and community boards over the next couple of days.

A joint statement from Robert Elstone, the Executive Chairman of Super League Europe, and Ralph Rimmer, CEO of Rugby Football League, read: “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.

“Super League is also an international competition, and consideration has to be given to our clubs in Canada and France, 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.

“The whole country is facing major challenges – and the support of our fans, partners and stakeholders is needed now more than ever before.”