The 2021 County Championship has been cancelled by the Rugby Football Union.

The tournament, which is contested annually and features players from the third tier of English rugby and below, saw its 2020 edition cancelled earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, and next year's version has now followed suit.

Cornwall are the reigning county champions and have won the tournament on six occasions – including three of the last seven editions.

The Gill Burns Cup, Jason Leonard Cup and under-18s divisional programmes have also been cancelled, while there will be no England Counties rugby for any of the age groups.

This has come following an announcement by RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney last week, who announced the loss of 139 jobs in the sport's governing body, with jobs at Cornwall RFU at risk.

In a statement published on Wednesday, Cornwall RFU chairman Dave Saunter said: “The county via the management board who are currently meeting via Microsoft Teams every fortnight are already talking to our neighbours and other counties about some sort of county rugby next year.

"You can be certain we will do all in our power to make sure we have the opportunity of watching the Black and Gold shirt at one of the county grounds.

“As an example of Management Board work, we are part way through a programme of having clubs tested for legionella within their water supply. Twenty-two clubs have taken us up on this at a cost of £3,520, paid for by the RFU via the county.

“Whilst this is a hard time for all of us I would also like to thank all the clubs who were able to support our NHS with their immunisation programme. All clubs who took part gave their venues for free, a great example of Cornish rugby spirit.

“We now wait for when we can get back to pulling our boots on and hopefully the 2020/21 season can start. In the meantime stay safe and remember the county, via the RFU, does have finances to help.

John Sumnall, CRFU president, added: "The sad news that we are to lose the County Championship for a second year is only tempered by the latest news that there will be a loss of 139 jobs at the RFU together with a considerable remodelling of the organisation.

“Thankfully, Cornwall is determined to play some county rugby at all levels in the coming season and planning has already begun.

“We very much hope the County Championship, at all levels, will be part of this in seasons to come.”

If any club needs help they can contact CRFU chairman Dave Saunter on 07554010480.