IT has been agreed to bring forward a planned summer break for the Betfred Women's Super League.

Clubs have unanimously agreed with the RFL to cancel this weekend’s final round of phase one fixtures, allowing squads an immediate ‘circuit-break’ from the challenges presented by positive Covid-19 tests, self-isolations and injuries.

Upon the competition's resumption on August 8, Warrington Wolves Women will compete for the Super League Shield after coming eighth in the 10-team division in their maiden top-flight campaign.

Their rivals in the next phase will be Featherstone Rovers, Huddersfield Giants, Bradford Bulls and Wakefield Trinity.

The top five teams – Leeds Rhinos, St Helens, Wigan Warriors, York City Knights and Castleford Tigers – will compete for a place in the BWSL Grand Final. Both finals are currently scheduled for Sunday, October 10, at Headingley.

Fixtures, including details of midweek games and broadcast and streaming arrangements, will be announced in due course. England training sessions and reserve weekends for any postponements will be accommodated within the schedule.

RFL Director of Participation and Development Marc Lovering says this move will put the competition in "a much better place."

“It’s been wonderful to have women’s rugby league back in 2021 after losing virtually the entire season last year, but the wider public health situation continues to challenge all of us," he said.

"At times like this we have to be agile, and I’m grateful to all the clubs for recognising the challenges and being flexible enough to adapt.

"They have shown admirable commitment throughout the season under enormous pressures at times.

“Together we all recognise that it was becoming increasingly difficult to reschedule postponed games, to guarantee the strongest possible squads reaching the finals at Headingley and to give England the best possible chance in the World Cup.

"This decision puts us in a much better place.”