OLDHAM and others in the Championship and League 1 could be playing again by the autumn if and when the Government relaxes social distancing regulations to allow fans into games.

Super League opens up again behind closed doors on August 2, but the RFL board has accepted the findings by survey of most of the 25 Betfred Championship and League 1 clubs that rugby in empty grounds is not feasible for tiers two and three due to the cost and other logistical issues.

A small majority, however, wanted to hold open the possibility of playing again later in the year, given a changing situation regarding the cost of testing and the possibility of playing in front of crowds.

Most clubs were also in favour of a meaningful competition in autumn and winter if that was considered to be the best option.

All will be reviewed further at RFL board meetings on July 13 and 20 with decisions promised by July 23 on the resumption of the Championship and League 1 seasons and also on the issue of promotion and relegation.

The RFL has also approved the introduction of five law changes designed to protect the welfare of players, including the suspension of scrums and the adoption of the 'six again' rule that has already been successfully adopted in Australia.

RFL chairman Simon Johnson said: "We have confirmed the adoption of significant changes to the game when rugby league resumes (at Super League level) next month.

"In terms of the tiers below Super League we still have to make urgent decisions on a resumption and on promotion and relegation which is why we have set firm deadlines."