Widnes Vikings and Swinton Lions have joined the growing list of clubs to withdraw from the RFL’s Autumn competition.
The Championship sides announced the news on Thursday evening, with not one club currently confirming they will play in the event.
A Widnes statement read: “After receiving full details of the competition and learning the criteria in which the club would need to meet, a decision has been made that it would be in the club’s best interests to not enter.
“The costs and potential risks of returning to play this Autumn outweighs the reward, and with no guarantee that supporters will be allowed to attend these fixtures there is very little financial gain to be made.
“As already mentioned, the club and our loyal supporters have worked hard in order to build a financially stable model and our aim since the cancellation of the season has been to protect the foundations we have built together. Competing in the Autumn competition could potentially jeopardise that, which is why the club has decided to opt out.”
Swinton added: “The decision to withdraw from the autumn tournament was not one which was taken lightly. However, it was the only sensible conclusion that could be drawn following careful appraisal of critical issues such as player welfare, financial impact, and covid-19 return-to-play logistical requirements.”