THE Welsh Rugby Union has cancelled the season for all competitions because of coronavirus – meaning more promotion heartbreak for Pontypool.

The cancellation means that all teams will remain in their current division for 2020/21 and that the WRU cups will not be won.

The cross-border competition between Welsh and Scottish clubs, which Ebbw Vale were due to take part in, has also been scrapped for the current campaign.

Several leagues had runaway leaders but no team is mathematically guaranteed promotion with the Union stating that there are 1,113 games that would need to be played to complete league competitions.

That would take an absolute minimum of eight weeks, leading the WRU to cancel the season.

"We are well aware of the colossal amount of effort that goes into our game, on and off the field, across Wales," said chief executive Martyn Phillips.

"We did not take this decision lightly. It is not intended to in any way diminish the games that have already taken place or the efforts of everyone involved.

"We were particularly aware of the impact on clubs with the potential to be promoted or win competitions, but in the end we have had to make the decision to ensure we play our part in safeguarding Welsh communities.

"We know clubs will be disappointed but also hope they will be understanding, given the circumstances.

"We know that rugby clubs are facing extraordinary challenges at the moment. We will continue to look at all options to ensure the game in Wales emerges from this period and continues to play the vital role in Welsh life that it has for the last 140 years."

The decision is a blow to Pontypool, who were in a strong position to finally get back to the Premiership for the first time since 2012.

Pooler have won all 16 fixtures in their bid for a fourth successive Championship crown – which this season has the prize of promotion – but are being chased hard by Bargoed.

The Bulls were just five points back with 10 games to go and were meant to have home advantage in the meeting between the sides in April.

Bottom club Bridgend, who were chasing Ebbw, have been saved in the Premiership while Cardiff have been frustrated in their bid for the title.

Newbridge are denied a bid to bounce back to the Championship but safety, understandably, comes first for the Union.

Rugby activity remains suspended until further notice and this includes no organised training or games, use of club gym facilities, organised sessions or unsanctioned gatherings at rugby premises.