POOLE Pirates have rearranged their home meeting with Eastbourne Eagles, following the government's decision to delay the easing of coronavirus restrictions.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last night that the planned date of June 21 to allow more spectators into live events has now been pushed back to July 19.

Speaking to the Daily Echo over the weekend ahead of the announcement, Pirates promoter Danny Ford confirmed a limited crowd saw Poole post a four-figure loss when they hosted Berwick Bandits last week.

And in a bid to avoid significant further losses, the planned visit of Eastbourne to Wimborne Road has now been moved from July 7 to September 15.

A statement from Pirates read: "The Prime Minister's announcement on Monday to defer to the removal of Covid-19 restrictions until July 19 has prompted Poole Pirates chief Matt Ford to tweak the fixture list slightly in a bid to protect the longevity of the club."

Matt Ford told the club website: "The effect of the social distancing measures that restricted numbers allowed in to watch at Wimborne Road for our meeting against Berwick, made it abundantly clear that our business would not be able to sustain such a level of losses on a weekly basis.

"We have therefore, with the co-operation of the Eastbourne promotion, taken the decision to move our fixture planned for July 7 back until September 15, allowing us reduce the number of fixtures we stage under crowd number restraints."

Pirates will still host Kent Kings on June 30 as planned, whilst the scheduled home meeting against Glasgow Tigers on July 14 will go ahead for now, pending the government's next review, which could permit more fans by that date.

Poole have also confirmed the second leg of their Knockout Cup tie against Plymouth will be held on Wednesday, July 21.

Matt Ford added: "Whilst this stop-start approach is not ideal, I am sure that our supporters will recognise that we are operating under exceptional circumstances and it is in the financial interests of the club to take these mitigating steps."

Pirates are back on track on Tuesday, June 22, travelling to Plymouth Gladiators for the first leg of their Knockout Cup fixture, which was washed out in May.

They then head to Kent Kings on June 29, before welcoming them back to Wimborne Road the following day.

Tickets for the Poole versus Kent fixture will be available tomorrow, initially for parties of four or more.

Pirates revised fixture list -

June 22: Plymouth (a) (cup)

June 29: Kent (a)

June 30: Kent (h)

July 13: Plymouth (a)

July 14: Glasgow (h)