KEIGHLEY Cougars head coach Rhys Lovegrove thinks this is the most open League 1 season for a long time, but admits he has "no idea" whether there will be a prize at the end of it all.

The decision on whether to implement promotion and relegation in the top three tiers of rugby league for 2021 has yet to be finalised.

And though there is no suggestion at this stage that it will be scrapped, it creates a worrying amount of uncertainty given the competitive season is getting underway in a month.

Speaking at Cougars' media day yesterday, Lovegrove said: "I have no idea if we can definitely get promoted or not.

"We have zero ability to change or impact that as a club unfortunately.

"We have to erase thinking about the decision on that from our current plans or anything else that we have no control over, like the fans coming back, the limited pre-season or the new TV deal."

It would be a crying shame if there was no promotion, with arguably the final League 1 "big-hitter" of recent years, in Newcastle Thunder, now out of the way after their promotion to the Championship for 2021.

Lovegrove said: "Due to the nature of rugby league for the last few years, you've had big teams down here.

"You have those that were heavily invested in, like Toronto and Toulouse, or clubs having to start again due to cataclysmic mistakes like Bradford.

"But now you have a league that's like a feeding frenzy at the beach when you've only got one chip left and everyone is going up against each other to fight for it.

"There's several of us strong teams that are expected to do well. But even the likes of Coventry and West Wales, who've struggled in the past, have invested well.

"West Wales have brought in the likes of Rangi Chase and Gavin Henson for example, and Rangi Chase can beat teams on his own he's that good.

"It was only a couple of years ago that Coventry beat Newcastle too, so they've definitely got it in them.

"Taking my coach's hat off for a minute and putting a fan's one on, I'm super excited by League 1, and I think it'll be the most exciting season to date, with everyone pushing to take the spoils."

It was announced this morning that Cougars' Challenge Cup tie at London Broncos next month will kick off at 3pm on Saturday, March 20.

The game will be streamed live on Our League, and will be free to all season ticket holders.

Otherwise, it will cost £4.95 to watch, if you get an Early Bird pass, or £10 if you buy on the day.