BERKSHIRE's clubs - with the exception of London Irish - will not play again competitively this season after the Rugby Football Union (RFU) ended their campaigns following the Cronavirus outbreak.

The move applies to all "league, cup and county rugby" in England, except the Gallagher Premiership.

The RFU said it was working on a way to ensure a "fair and balanced outcome" to the season and will provide a further update by mid-April.

CEO Bill Sweeney said in a statement: "While we would like to provide all the answers now, we need some time to get it right for the best interests of the game."

Some of Berkshire's clubs have up to five matches remaining this season, with many fighting for promotion and to avoid relegation.

It comes after the RFU decided earlier this week to suspend all rugby activity until April 14.

Sweeney added that the "long term financial implications" of the situation meant it would "take time" to develop a method for supporting rugby clubs, but committed to doing so.

"We have already undertaken financial measures to safeguard the business enabling us to review all options and programmes to provide support for clubs in these difficult times," he added.

"The implications for all areas of rugby will be thoroughly worked through and solutions discussed and developed with the clubs."

The RFU chief added the organisation was in discussions with the government about using its resources across England to support the vulnerable.

He said: "In recent days we have all been inspired by the many stories across the rugby family working together to support those who are the most vulnerable in their community – this encapsulates the unique spirt of rugby.

"I am confident that this spirit and resilience during these tough times will ensure we will come through this together and emerge stronger."