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Magic Weekend could be cancelled or rescheduled

This year's Magic Weekend could be rescheduled or cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, says Super League chief executive Robert Elstone.

Rugby league has been suspended indefinitely because of the outbreak.

The Magic Weekend, a full round of top-flight fixtures played at the same venue over two days, was set to take place in Newcastle on 23-24 May.

"You might look at the probability of it happening as diminishing all the time," said Elstone.

"Magic hasn't been totally ruled out to date. We have a daily conference call among Super League executives and we spoke about it on Wednesday morning.

"We're preparing for the fact that Magic may well be a casualty of this. The big quandary is how long is this going to last and it would be unwise not to think about Magic at a later date in Newcastle or in a different format."

The Super League season is scheduled to finish in October with the Grand Final at Old Trafford, with an inter­national series between England and Australia to follow.

Elstone continued: "Right now it's impossible to know how long this suspension period will last but we're looking at a variety of scenarios that means, when it does it get lifted, we're in a good place to start quickly and fulfil as many of our seasonal obligations as we can.

"We have a Super League fixture list that involves Magic Weekend, loop fixtures and play-offs and all of these generate revenue for the clubs, the centre or both.

"You've got Challenge Cup and Test football to consider too and the good news is everyone is working together to find a solution that works for everyone, but the longer it goes on the harder it will be to fulfil everything."

The Magic Weekend concept has been part of the Super League calendar annually since 2007.

St James' Park in Newcastle hosted it for four successive years between 2015 and 2018, with last year's event being staged at Anfield, home of Liverpool FC.

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