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No relegation from Super League following Toronto withdrawal

It has been announced that there will be no relegation from Super League in 2020.

The Rugby Football League (RFL) said the decision was made "for reasons of integrity, player welfare and also to protect the solvency of clubs".

The news came hours after Toronto Wolfpack said they would take no further part in the 2020 season because of "overwhelming financial challenges" posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The RFL also said the 2020 Championship and League One seasons will not resume.

A survey of the Championship and League One found that the majority of teams would not support playing behind closed doors.

Instead, teams will be invited to play in a competition in the autumn that will celebrate the sport's 125th anniversary, with a prize of £250,000 on offer.

Canadian outfit Toronto had been playing in English rugby league's top flight for the first time after winning promotion from the Champi­onship, but have opted to withdraw from the rest of the campaign.

The Wolfpack say they still "fully intend to field a team in the 2021 season".

Toronto, who will also be withdrawing from the Challenge Cup, said in a statement: "This decision has not been taken lightly, and in consi­dera­tion of a range of factors specific to the club as the only transat­lantic team in the league.

"Greatly reduced ticket, sponsorship, merchandise and game day revenue streams have resulted from the loss of all 11 of the team's home Super League games in Toronto.

"The Wolfpack would be left covering significant additional costs simply to complete a season of games in the UK, including Covid testing, stadium rentals, medical costs and player pay increases to align with the rest of the league."

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