Workington Town will not be entering the new autumn RFL competition.

The club announced in a statement at the weekend that the possibility of injuries and the costs of the coronavirus lockdown, mean that they cannot risk entering the competition.

The statement from Town’s board said: “As a board we have a duty to protect the interests of our club and its sustainability, to protect our players and provide the best product on and off the pitch for our fans and sponsors. This is our 75th year anniversary and we had lots of exciting plans to celebrate that achievement.

“However, we have spent the last four months navigating the unprecedented waters of Covid 19.

“The guiding principle for our work over that time has been to make sure that we had a club to return to whenever we could return. As for every rugby league club this has been difficult, stressful and extremely challenging.

“With the help of our magnificent fundraising fans and our sponsors, who have stood by us at every stage, we are still here fighting for the future of our great club.

“Our supporters and sponsors have had their own personal worries and issues to deal with and our thoughts have been constantly with you all. Our players have also been extremely diligent and professional in keeping as fit and prepared as they could be under the circumstances.

“We’d like to applaud the RFL for their leadership and their endeavours to try to get rugby league back playing. However, the prohibitive costs of un-furloughing players and testing whilst playing, either behind closed doors or with restricted crowd numbers, puts all of our hard work at grave risk.

“Added to this compelling set of reasons is the fact our part-time players haven’t played for four months and we feel that there is too great a risk of injury. We will therefore not be entering the end of season competition."

The club added it would contact sponsors and season ticket holders over the coming weeks to open discussions about future options.

“We would therefore urge everyone to take up any options that do not include refunds, although we are fully aware and understand that everyone’s circumstances are different in these worrying times and this may not be possible for everyone.

"We are humbled by the support of so many of you in our rugby league family and can assure you all of our unwavering commitment to the sustainable future of Workington Town.”