THE PACK are “chomping at the bit” to get back in the fight, says Workington Town’s chairman, but they are mindful that public health is the top priority.

At a virtual meeting on Wednesday, The Betfred Championship and League One clubs weighed the options for the 2021 season.

The decision reached was that the championship season should be delayed from the start of late February and League One, which is home to Workington Town and Barrow Raiders, should be delayed until later in the Spring.

The decision was made in the interest of public health as the Coronavirus pandemic is ongoing and in some areas escalating.

Ralph Rimmer, Rugby Football League chief executive said: “A staged return to pre-season training, after the short pause advised last week, followed by a staggered start to the Betfred Championship and League 1 seasons, represents the best way for us to combine this responsibility with other priorities of player welfare and the financial sustainability of our clubs.”

Workington Town RLFC chairman Les Smallwood said: “Everyone at the club is chomping at the bit to get back training and then playing.

“Rugby league is massively important to a lot of people and sport is a great release from the horrible things we are going through.

“However, it must be led absolutely by the safety of our community, our players and staff and ultimately the fans.”

Commenting on the talks this week, he said: “A potential start in early May gives us all something to aim for but we will work closely with the RFL to ensure our return to training is done correctly.”

Preparations are underway at Town, Smallwood said: “There is an enormous amount of work going on behind the scenes to make sure we’re ready and as soon as we’re given the green light we’ll hit the ground running.”

In a message to the fans, he said: “In the meantime, stay safe.”