Coronavirus protocols and financial strains were the key factors raised by premier clubs as Newcastle Hunter Rugby Union officials opted to cancel this year's proposed Rams Cup competition.
NHRU chairman Bill Clifton confirmed on Thursday the decision not to go ahead with an abbreviated season following meetings this week.
"Unfortunately, after meeting with the premier clubs, we have decided to pull the pin," Clifton told the Newcastle Herald.
"The easiest part at the moment is actually playing rugby, but the hardest thing is compliance and social responsibility.
"Our clubs expressed concerns around that and potential financial impacts."
The Rams Cup had been scheduled to kick-off August 1 and finish on October 24, featuring eight of the nine existing clubs with Maitland not entering an open men's side.
It was an alternative campaign born out of the COVID-19 pandemic after NHRU canned their main premiership at the end of May.
Clifton said the proposed competitions for men's divisional clubs and women's 10s are still set to proceed as planned next month.
Participating divisional clubs include The Waratahs, Cooks Hill, Griffins, Easts, Medowie and Pokolbin.
Hamilton, Maitland, Medowie, Merewether Carlton, Nelson Bay, The Waratahs and Wanderers had initially expressed interest in playing the women's 10s season.
"There will still be some rugby in the Hunter this year," he said.
Meanwhile, NHRU's representative squad the Hunter Wildfires continue this year's return to the Sydney-based Shute Shield when they host Eastwood at No.2 Sportsground on Saturday after a first-up 50-7 loss to Randwick on the weekend.
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