POOLE Pirates' scheduled home meeting with Redcar Bears this week has been postponed "due to circumstances beyond the club's control".

Pirates were due to welcome the north east outfit to Wimborne Road on Wednesday, looking to continue their march up the SGB Championship table.

Poole welcomed healthy home crowds in each of the past three Wednesdays, for meetings against Plymouth, Leicester and Edinburgh.

But the momentum will be halted this week, with Pirates releasing a statement explaining how positive COVID-19 cases among Poole Stadium staff, as well as self-isolation rules for close contacts, has put paid to the Redcar fixture.

Pirates boss Matt Ford told the club's website: "We are absolutely devastated, with the school holidays upon us.

"We can't believe how much we regret the situation that has presented itself to us.

"We have already lost thousands of pounds this season as an aspect of COVID-19 restrictions, and we now encounter this latest problem which is beyond our control.

"We can only apologise to everyone who was looking forward to enjoying the evening's entertainment this week and a full refund will be made to anyone who has pre-booked tickets, within the next three to five working days."

Poole, who have won nine of their past 11 meetings, are now next due in action against Scunthorpe Scorpions on August 18.