Whitehaven RL has decided against entering the 125 Anniversary Cup, organised by the RFL as a result of the official Championship and League 1 seasons ending early due to Covid.

The club, who were enjoying a season back in the Championship, when lockdown struck, has said money and player welfare were high on the agenda when the board made its decision.

A statement said: “The Board of Whitehaven RLFC can today confirm that we have officially declined the invitation to participate in the 125 Anniversary Cup.

“As with the regular season the club do not believe we would be acting in the best interests of player welfare and the solvency of the club by agreeing to participation.

“Unfortunately this means that there will be no more rugby league played at the Recre in 2020.

“However the club is progressing well both on and off the field in making sure we come back stronger for the 2021 season.”

The RFL confirmed last month that the 2020 Championship and League One seasons will not resume after they were suspended in March. But second and third-tier clubs were invited to play in a competition this autumn, which has a £250,000 prize pot.

It was to celebrate the sport’s anniversary but many clubs have felt that the costs associated with lockdown mean it is not viable for them to take part.