RL bosses admit a return to action for Betfred Super League and Championship clubs will be “considerably longer” than the sport’s initial three-week suspension up to April 3.

All tiers of the men’s, women’s and the community game, were stopped on March 16.

Last week Leigh owner Derek Beaumont urged fans to keep the faith with the club and “all stick together” during the coronavirus crisis.

He warned some clubs will be living “hand to mouth” without any income but said: “I just want people to be sure that what’s happening at other clubs isn’t necessarily what’s happening here.”

A meeting of Super League clubs, via conference call, was held on Tuesday for further discussion on how to respond to the public health pandemic.

RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer said: “Following the meeting we will also be updating other sections of the game with the latest thinking regarding the suspension of the season.

“The sensible approach is clearly to continue working on various scenarios while acknowledging the suspension is going to be considerably longer than the three-week period we had initially confirmed.

“The key for the sport is to continue acting in a collegiate, united and positive way.”

Together with Robert Elstone, Super League’s executive chairman, the pair explained: “In line with the approach announced by the UK Government, we will regularly review the situation regarding the possibility of resuming fixtures – and remain as flexible as possible, in consultation with other partners, and with the key considerations of financial sustainability and player welfare.”

“With the country having taken such unprecedented measures, the primary focus and priority for all has to be the public health emergency – an approach that is equally applicable for our overseas clubs.

“Rugby League clubs are deeply embedded in their communities. We are committed as a sport to following Government advice and doing all we can to promote the importance of physical and mental health – for our supporters, players and colleagues.”

Rimmer has confirmed the RFL has asked the government for financial support as part of its business rescue package.

He said there is hope of tapping into the UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s salary support package, which offers cover for up to 80 per cent of wages up to a £2,500-a-month ceiling.

Leigh sat second in the table, two points behind Toulouse Olympique.

The draw for rounds one and two of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup-sponsored by Mr Beaumont’s company and scheduled for last Tuesday, has been “temporarily postponed” due to the Covid-19 crisis.

*Australia’s National Rugby League has now been suspended until at least May 1. The league had played behind closed doors, playing all eight round two fixtures over the weekend, before finally halting the action.