NEWCASTLE and Hunter Rugby Union has unveiled plans for a cup competition which will replace the premiership season after it was canned due to the impact of COVID-19.
The cup competition, which is likely to start in August and be held over five or six weeks, will be open to premier and divisional clubs.
Details are yet to be finalised, but it is expected that games would be played at two to three venues each weekend with double headers. The top two teams at the end of a round robin series would play in a final.
"It has been a very disrupted season due to COVID-19 but we believe by August we will be able to squeeze in the NHRU Rams Cup," NHRU president Bill Clifton said on Friday.
"Rugby is a wonderful sport and the camaraderie is such that everybody wants to get on the park.
"We have also been very mindful of listening to the [health] advice and doing all the right things.
"We were hoping to get a one-round competition in but time ran out and the constraints were such that it was difficult for all clubs. We consulted with them and feel this is the best course - wipe the premiership season but look to play some tournament rugby towards the end of the season."
The NHRU, in consultation with the clubs, cited increased costs and hygiene requirements as the main reasons for the cancellation of the regular season competitions.
It is hoped that the later start to the cup, may allow for crowds to attend and canteens to operate.