A DECISION needs to be made on ending the Guinness PRO14 season by the end of the month says Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Martyn Phillips.

The championship has been suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic with the Dragons, who last played against Benetton on March 6, having eight games remaining.

The scheduled grand final in Cardiff on June 20 has already been cancelled and the chances of completing the PRO14 season look slim given that it is a cross-border competition featuring teams from Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Italy and South Africa.

Scottish Rugby Union chief operating officer Dominic McKay, a PRO14 board member, has ruled out the competition being business as usual.

"We are still looking at scenarios that might see some way of potentially finishing the PRO14 season if restrictions allow later in the back end of the summer/beginning of autumn. And that will definitely be a curtailed end to the PRO14 season,” he said.

"We are still looking at scenarios, the PRO14 executive are going to come back to us with an update on what might be possible.

"But that is entirely dependent on the various restrictions in the different territories."

With players needing a block of pre-season training before any return to action, finishing 2019/20 will have an impact on 2020/21.

South Wales Argus:

"I think in the next month that'll come to a head," said Phillips to BBC Wales. “There comes a point at which... do you just need to write off the season, and try to start the next one as well as you can?

"You keep all your options open until you can't any more, and then there's a point at which the season's gone."

Travel restrictions will determine the approach of PRO14 bosses and there remains the possibility of the Dragons playing the Ospreys, Cardiff Blues and the Scarlets.

South Wales Argus:

"If you do get back to playing, do you play (Welsh) inter-regional games first, inter-provincial games in Ireland... it looks to me that that is the first port of call," continued Phillips.

"We have been talking a lot about the international game but equally in particular the regional game is important and players do need to play at some point and coaches need to see them back in their environments.

"They are finely tuned athletes and need to play but the safety side is always going to trump (other factors)."

As things stand in the PRO14, the Dragons would have faced Connacht in Galway for a place in next season’s Champions Cup.

Dean Ryan’s men are also waiting to learn the fate of European competitions after the postponement of their Challenge Cup quarter-final against Bristol at Ashton Gate.