Barnsley RUFC are hoping to play some form of competitive rugby in the first half of next year despite their league being cancelled for the 2020/21 campaign.

The Shaw Laners were aiming to bounce straight back after being relegated to Yorkshire League Three when last season was cancelled in March.

But now the RFU has cancelled all rugby below the third tier for the season.

Yorkshire RFU are hoping to organise games with changed rules in ‘clusters’ of neighbouring clubs.

The Shaw Laners are also considering putting on their own competitions, if allowed, to make sure all players who want to can compete in 2021.

Barnsley hired former Rotherham Titans head coach Ant Posa for this season but so far all he has been to do is hold socially distanced training sessions at Shaw Lane which have now stopped due to the second lockdown.

New Zealander Posa said: “We remain hopeful.

“We’re really keen to provide training again as soon as we can which is great for physical and mental health.

“We are hoping to have some local fixtures against teams of a similar level, with new rules, so we can have at least half a season.

“We all want to play but we have to wait. We’re extremely keen on not shutting up shop and giving up on the season like some other clubs.

“There will only be one scrum allowed, so if it resets, it’s a freekick, and teams will only be allowed to maul in the opposition’s 22. It’s about reducing the longer face-to-face contact.

“I hope we can bring fans back and social distance with some common sense.

“It’s been frustrating for me and I am like a dog on a leash waiting to get going. But I have been around long enough to know there is a bigger picture of everyone’s health.”

Barnsley’s Mark Smith added: “We started training at the normal time, early July, and have been able to keep going, within the RFU restrictions/guidelines, up until the recent lockdown measures were re-introduced.

“It’s been important that we’ve been able to put that on for the players’ physical and mental well-being and sessions have been well-attended and enjoyable.

“It’s been frustrating that we haven’t been able to do everything we want to do, especially having a new head coach of the calibre of Ant.

“But we’ve always said that the main thing is that we keep everyone safe and we want to get through the pandemic by complying with expectations.”