Following a meeting of the NCA executive and an update from the Government regarding the Covid tier restrictions, the National Clubs Association wants to reiterate its commitment to getting our cup competition underway as soon as possible in the New Year.

On Wednesday, London and parts of Essex and Hertfordshire moved to tier three after a rise in infection rates whilst further areas in the country have been moved into the top tier.

Elsewhere, Lancashire will remain in England’s toughest tier of coronavirus restrictions.

Of course, these regions encompass some of our clubs and chairman John Inverdale said: “In light of the ever-changing situation, it would be premature to make firm promises about a start date for the competition, but we are still hoping that we can get underway in February.

“On behalf of the exec, I would also like to thank all the clubs for their enthusiasm for our leagues and the competition.

“Their continued engagement with the exec in helping to keep alive this most vibrant sector of the sport has been fantastic so I just want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a rugby-ladened New Year.”