YORK RUFC have been forced to cancel their upcoming youth fixtures and tours, as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

The club had organised tours for the 2019/20 season, a minis festival and an end of season presentation, though all these events had been either cancelled or postponed until a later date.

The coronavirus pandemic has prevented any sport taking place throughout the country, with the government advising people to adhere to social distancing rules.

Writing on the York RUFC website, youth section chairman Paul Simpson wrote: “As you are all well aware we are in rather uncharted territory at the moment with the developing Covid-19 situation.

“The impact on our lives is significant and far reaching, in many cases affecting us in ways we wouldn’t have thought possible.

“My first thoughts are with all of you impacted by this.

“In terms of rugby, the 2019/20 season is over. The RFU have issued a statement confirming this for everything below the Championship.”

In regards to the upcoming tours, he informed: “Clearly these that were planned will not go ahead.

“Our organisers have put in significant effort in this area and we are looking at options to have a tour early in the 2020/21 season but of course this depends on when the new season will actually start.

“We will keep you updated with any news we receive in this area.”

On the minis festival, he added: “This has been cancelled and our visiting teams informed.

“Once again my thanks to Phil Hardy and his team of volunteer organisers who put so much effort into this – it was lining up to be a great festival.”

And, on the club’s end of the season presentation, Simpson continued: “The medals and trophies have been ordered and will be received during April.

“The decision on when to hold the presentation days will depend somewhat on where the government advice on social gatherings goes. As this develops I will be in touch with managers to co-ordinate.”

With the 2019/20 season promptly coming to an end, through the RFU’s quickly-made decision, all attention now turns to if and when the 2020/21 campaign will get underway.

"At the moment there is no direction on any change to this," said Simpson.

"Our fixture secretary, John Atkin, has the majority of fixtures already secured and confirmed for the 2020/21 season and we will still proceed with the fixtures booklet for the season on that basis.

"Should the Covid-19 situation extend to delay the season start we will react accordingly cancelling any fixtures affected.

"Many of you know that September is training focussed so we do have some flexibility in this area. We will keep you informed of any changes as they develop."

With the coronavrius outbreak dominating the news at the moment, Simpson also offered an update on the situation of the club's grounds after the floods at the start of the year.

"Paddy Stephen and Jonathan Corcoran have worked wonders over the last few months," said Simpson.

"With Covid-19 we almost forget the amount of storms, rain and flooding we had that needed constant grounds management.

"The 2nd XV floodlights are well established and many of you will get to take advantage of them next season."