Rugby league players are turning to Sporting Chance as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc with sport, the game’s charity has revealed.

Clubs from Super League down to League 1 are looking at cost-saving measures and Rugby League Cares is stepping up its efforts to combat financial, emotional or behavioural hardship.

The charity is liaising with the clubs’ dedicated player welfare managers to ensure there is access to expert advice and assistance while also working alongside club foundations and ex-players associations to help those who may be feeling isolated.

RL Cares says it has accessed government grants which will be distributed to foundations to help ongoing projects in local communities.

But it also says some players have already secured help from Sporting Chance, the mental health charity set up by former Arsenal footballer Tony Adams, the current Rugby Football League president.

Chris Rostron, the head of RL Cares, said: “As an independent charity with responsibility for delivering player welfare to the professional and semi-professional game, RL Cares has the health and well-being of the playing community at the heart of its activities.

Tony Adams' Sporting Chance clinic is giving support to players affected by the coronavirus pandemic
Tony Adams’ Sporting Chance clinic is giving support to players affected by the coronavirus pandemic (Chris Radburn/PA)

“Now, more than ever before, players past and present may need help and support and we want them to know we’re here for them.

“A number of Super League and Championship players have already accessed the expertise of Sporting Chance since the pandemic took hold and we will continue to keep that option open.

“RL Cares aims to make a positive difference to the lives of people at every level of the sport and our small, committed team is working tirelessly to keep the rugby league family together.”