The Guinness PRO14 season has been indefinitely suspended, while organisers have also been forced to cancel June's Grand Final in Cardiff.
The season was already put on ice pending "constant review" last week, with the fixtures calendar already decimated as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
News of an indefinite suspension will come as a hammer blow to the provinces who are all set to suffer financially through a lack of gate receipts and general matchday revenues.
The board of PRO14's parent company - Celtic Rugby DAC - met via video conference this week and agreed to a list of criteria which - if met - could allow the resumption of games in the league.
Those criteria are:
- Public Health Authorities cease to prohibit the resumption of sport and group training
- Travel restrictions between our territories are lifted
- No forced isolation or quarantine orders are in force when visiting our territories
- Player welfare is safeguarded, including requirement for a suitable pre-recommencement training period, to be established in conjunction with the high-performance personnel at our participating unions and teams
It's also been decided that this year's PRO14 Grand Final which was scheduled for the Cardiff City Stadium on June 20 be cancelled.
Should any final be played this season, it will be hosted by the team with the highest ranking based on league records.
Quite how they will arrive at a 'final' destination remains to be seen with a statement saying, "Proposals regarding how to restart the season will be reviewed in the near future.
"PRO14 Rugby is working with key stakeholders to carefully examine several proposals that can be implemented and delivered in order to close out the season – albeit at a later date."