THE Bulls will not be playing autumn rugby after the RFL scrapped their plans for a tournament.

But the governing body are considering plans for an earlier start for next season and possibly expanding the 1895 Cup.

The idea of staging a new competition this year for clubs outside of Super League was suggested after both the Championship and League One campaigns were scrapped.

The Bulls were the first side to register an interest in taking part but only three others – landlords Dewsbury, Batley and Barrow – followed suit.

After weeks of waiting for a decision to be made, the RFL finally pulled the plug in a statement put out last night.

They announced that it would not be “feasible” to stage a new tournament and revealed that early discussions have already been to consider amending the 1895 Cup – the competition already in place for teams beneath the Super League.

A number of rounds of regional group fixtures could be held over the winter, including matches on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

The cup would then revert to a knock-out format in the spring with the final taking place alongside the Challenge Cup at Wembley.

Mark Foster, the RFL’s chief commercial officer, said: “Like everyone we want to see a return of our sport at this level.

“But in these uniquely challenging circumstances it is important that we work with the clubs to find the best solutions.

“Some clubs have already expressed enthusiasm for the option of an earlier start to the 2021 season, and the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup provides us with a possible opportunity to secure that.

“There is also the possibility of using the traditional sporting dates of Boxing Day and New Year’s Day to come back with a bang – although it is important we recognise there are still substantial challenges ahead as we work through the detailed requirements for the return of our sport outside Super League.

“Moving the majority of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup to earlier in the season should also mean fewer midweek games in the 2021 schedule, which would be another potential advantage.”