ILKLEY'S Head of Rugby Rhys Morgan believes his side would grab at the opportunity to remain in the North Premier.

The Dalesman sit rock-bottom, 23 points away from 13th-placed Carlisle, but with the Rugby Football Union postponing the season due to the coronavirus outbreak until April 14 at the earliest, it will mean that the leagues will have to create a resolution to the current campaign.

The RFU announced proposals last month, calling for a maximum of 14 teams in a league, which would reduce the number of games a season to 26.

With these ideas intended to come into force for the 2021/22 season, reducing some of games which would be better for player welfare.

Morgan thinks these proposals could come in earlier, presenting his team a chance to continue playing at a similar standard.

He said: "I don’t know what they are going to do going forward in respects to the leagues they have got a job on their hands to find the most moral thing to do.

"I think it is difficult because they have to be fair to everyone. For us we are bottom of the league and have no chance of survival but there are other teams in the relegation zone who have a chance for survival.

"It would be an easy choice for us if we are given the chance to stay up. I would have to speak to the committee and ask if they would take that chance. From a personal and player type of view I think they would take it with both hands.

"I would feel sorry for teams who are on their way to get promoted and those who have worked hard to avoid relegation. It is going to be really difficult.

"There is some talk about expanding the leagues to different areas which would mean the teams below us get the promotion they want and the teams fighting relegation will move to a league on a similar level. That might be the answer."

Morgan is disappointed that all rugby must be stopped, although he is fully behind the RFU's decision to halt all rugby activity.

He added: "The RFU have reacted on the back of what has come through from the government.

"Until that was made than the RFU could not really do anything. With the information available it was the right decision to play it last week.

"We were undecided whether to train but they have been stern on it now, saying that you don’t pick a rugby ball up which I completely agree with."

Ilkley did play last Saturday and were unlucky to come out on the wrong side of the result against leaders Blaydon with the match ending 32-5 in the visitors favour.

The Ilkley boss was delighted with his side's performance and thinks they were the better side over a team who are known for their attacking talent, having scored the most points (680) in the division.

Morgan said: "We played the best rugby. No doubt they were more powerful than us but for rugby we were the more enterprising. Our rugby was more exciting than what they produced I was really pleased."