SWINTON Lions players will not be training until the situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic becomes clearer.

The Championship club exited the Challenge Cup at Widnes on Sunday before all rugby league up and down the country was suspended until April 3 in line with government advice.

The Lions squad will now train individually and away from the club with the club’s hierarchy working on a plan to mitigate the financial shortfall that is set to hit clubs in all sports in the coming weeks and months.

“In a time of great uncertainty over what is going to develop in the immediate future, our performance staff made a pre-emptive decision that our playing department will not take part in club training sessions until we can obtain further clarity that will enable a deliverable plan moving forwards,” said head coach Stuart Littler in a club statement.

“Our first concern is always the welfare of our players and their families. What is happening currently within the world is way bigger than any sport and I am hopeful that by doing the right things we can minimise the impact on those immediately around us.

“We have a very honest playing group who I know will do their utmost to stay fit in preparation for whatever develops.

“Can I ask that everyone involved in our club and sport is supportive of each other in what is set to be a testing time.

“Personally getting ill does not worry me, but we are concerned for the more vulnerable amongst us. Please help others wherever you can and be there for each other.

“We feel that by being proactive with our response to this outbreak that we will put ourselves and our playing staff in the strongest position moving forwards. Stay safe.” 

On behalf of the board, Steve Wild added: “We are in constant contact with the RFL who themselves are diligently following government protocol and passing on exceptionally detailed and helpful information.

“Our primary objective as a club will always be to protect our players, staff, their families and of course our supporters.

“The next few weeks are going to present an enormous challenge to the country as a whole, let alone rugby league and Swinton Lions, but all we can do in the meantime as a club is to take sensible precautions in line with official advice.

“I’m confident that all of our fans and partners will fully understand the situation and continue to support the club through this unprecedented period of uncertainty.

“If we stick together and show innovation and resolve then we will be in a position to emerge with strength once the situation recovers.

“Over the next few days we will release further information and advice as to how, if you are able, you can help support the club through the coming weeks.

“Historically Swinton supporters have shown time and time again that they come good when times are difficult and I’m sure this occasion will be no different.”