It would appear that rugby league in Europe could be underway again in September in some form, after Toronto Wolfpack wrote to their supporters hinting at such a schedule.
Super League and all other rugby league competitions are currently suspended, with seven rounds of matches having taken place in Super League before the halt.
There has been plenty of speculation about when rugby league could resume in Europe. One idea has been that games could be played behind closed doors.
There has also been speculation about how the season would look if matches were rescheduled for later in the year.
The Wolfpack seem to be expecting the season to be extended so that all matches can be completed.
“The RFL, Super League and all clubs are still building a number of fixture remodelling schedules around the completion of the season,” the club said in its letter to supporters.
“The 2021 season is now expected to be extended beyond the original end date. This would give teams as much time as possible to catch up on regular season games, with playoffs then taking place later than scheduled.”
The Super League Grand Final was originally scheduled for Saturday October 10 at Old Trafford. That date looks unrealistic as things stand.
The tour by the Australian national side, the Kangaroos, to Europe in the autumn is also doomed.
A three-match Ashes series against England had been inked in, but, with the NRL having confirmed that a 20-round competition will be starting on May 28 the tour cannot be completed.
The NRL has announced the number of rounds for the revised competition schedule, but has otherwise provided no concrete detail yet.
Matters in Europe are also complicated by the situation in France, where no professional sport is allowed to take place until September.
That puts Catalans Dragons from Super League and Toulouse Olympique in the Championship in a tricky position, should matches resume before then.
Hull FC owner Adam Pearson has poured scorn on the idea of playing games behind closed doors, though.
Both of the Hull clubs are facing a large financial hit, with Hull Kingston Rovers owner Neil Hudgell highlighting that the cancellation of two concerts this summer that were set to take place at the Robins’ Hull College Craven Park ground has left the club £500,000 down.
According to media reports, Super League run the risk of being in breach of their contract with broadcast partners Sky Sports if a certain number of games are not staged for television.
Losing the financial support of the broadcaster would apparently cost much more financially than playing games in front of empty stands.
“I’m not one of these who has accepted a long lay-off,” Pearson told the Hull Daily Mail.
“I keep reading people saying we can play behind closed doors or leave a return to playing until September, we can’t do that, no chance. The game is not going to survive that long.”
Hudgell has stated that he will not put any more money into Rovers until he knows for sure whether relegation from Super League will be an issue this season.