KEIGHLEY RUFC's director of rugby Russell Gibson is fairly happy with the Rugby Football Union's plans for next year's proposed league formats at community level, as they look set to offer his side a shot at promotion.

Keighley were relegated from Yorkshire One on a best playing record formula after the 2019/20 season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic, but feel they are in a good position to bounce straight back up.

If they can kick off their Yorkshire Two season by October 10 (window one), they will play teams home and away, in a localised group, before playing those further afield in their division, in the other group, home and away.

If everything goes ahead by November 28 (window two), the first part remains the same, but they would only play those more distant sides once.

If the season gets underway after that (window three), they would only play home and away teams local to them in Yorkshire Two.

All three systems would provide a league winner (the first two via best overall record and the latter through a play-off between the winners of the two groups), though Gibson does foresee a possible logistical issue.

He said: "The plan does give us some clarity, though the RFU will be led by the government's easing of lockdown, so it is still a bit of a waiting game.

"We've just been relegated, so we're hoping to bounce back. We just hope whatever format ends up being used, that there'll be a promotion opportunity.

"But the suggestion is that whether it's windows one, two or even three, there would be a winner.

"It would be good to go up just in time for the restructuring of the leagues next year too.

"We'd get to play the teams close to us first in windows one or two, which makes sense, but then there might be a bit of pressure on availability in the second half of the season, for players to be free week in, week out for those long away trips.

"That's the only real issue I can see but I'm not sure there's a lot the RFU can do."

Explaining what Keighley have been doing to prepare for their return to action, Gibson said: "We started training in groups of six once a week about three weeks ago, following the social distancing rules, but we've increased that to two days this week.

"We don't know when we'll start playing, but we're still working towards it being September, so we've got to keep the players fit and ticking over.

"Our best guess at the moment though is that we think we'll back towards the end of October or early November."

Gibson also confirmed that Keighley are still looking for a new first XV manager (to look after logistical matters etc), after previous incumbent Thomas Lowther decided he wanted to focus purely on his role as strength and conditioning coach at the club.