THE Rugby Football Union (RFU) has announced an end to the 2019/20 for all for all league, cup and county rugby in England, below the Gallagher Premiership.

Bill Sweeney, the RFU's CEO, said that the governing body is working to "ensure fair and balanced outcomes", which will be communicated next month.

With the season suspended this week due to the coronavirus pandemic, and now ended, it now remains to be seen what the outcome of the league campaign will be.

Neither Bridgwater & Albion nor North Petherton 1st XV were on course for promotion, or relegation, from South West 1 West - but there will be lost revenue from the Albion v Pethy derby match which was due to take place tonight (Friday).

In his message to the English rugby union community, Sweeney said: "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."

Sweeney's statement added that the RFU was focused on 'Welfare', 'Implications' and 'Reboot' for the sport.

Welfare covers individual training programmes and support for the vulnerable, while Reboot means: "Our welfare advice before the start of next season will switch to offering guidance on how players at all levels can reboot and get match ready.

"The RFU will work closely with constituent bodies to support clubs, competition organisers and the wider rugby community in preparing to restart rugby in what is likely to be a challenging environment."

The largest aspect, Implications, reads as follows: "In this extraordinary situation we are working through a range of potential financial scenarios dependent mainly on the length of this crisis.

"This was already budgeted to be a loss-making year within a four-year cycle due to the costs of the 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign and only hosting two home Six Nations games.

"The loss will now be considerably more as we face challenges similar to businesses across the entire country.

"There may well also be much longer term financial implications which we are assessing now.

"It is therefore taking us some time to develop a considered position on how we can support clubs and the rugby community, which we will do.

"We have already undertaken financial measures to safeguard the business enabling us to review all options and programmes to provide support for clubs in these difficult times.

"We welcome the measures announced by government which could provide crucial support to professional and community clubs and the RFU.

"We are in regular contact with Sport England and The Sport and Recreation Alliance to understand how business rate relief and hardship funds can be accessed by clubs and will be providing assistance to make sure every club who is eligible will be supported.

"The implications for all areas of rugby will be thoroughly worked through, and solutions discussed and developed with the clubs."