This is why Doncaster Knights' proposed friendly with Rotherham Titans has been blocked by rugby authorities
Doncaster Knights had hoped to warm-up for the new Championship season by renewing their rivalry with Rotherham Titans.
The two sides have not met since the Titans were relegated from the Championship in 2018.
A proposed pre-season friendly on August 13 was also set to double up as a testimonial for long-serving Knights duo Matt Challinor and Dougie Flockhart.
However, the game will not be going ahead due to Covid protocols and also for ‘player welfare’ reasons.
Titans now operate in National 2 North, the fourth tier of the game in this country, and their players are not subject to strict Covid testing protocols, unlike Knights.
Knights said in a statement: “In the interest of safety and player welfare, the professional game board (PGB) have mandated Premiership and Championship Clubs must not play pre-season fixtures with NCA Clubs or any teams that aren’t operating under the elite sport exemption, including adherence to strict testing protocols.
“This is due to increased levels of positive cases within the Premiership, Championship and AP15s clubs.
"The PGB has also taken into account player welfare considerations given clubs at Level 3 and below have not played any competitive, full contact rugby, including scrums and mauls, for almost 18 months.”
Knights say they hope to hold a testimonial event for Challinor and Flockhart at another time.