Blackburn Rovers’ friendly at Rochdale on Sunday has been called off.

The home club have taken the decision to protect their newly-laid pitch with a series of fixtures, both rugby and football, coming up.

It was due to be Rovers’ second friendly of the summer after their 2-1 win over National League Barrow on Saturday.

Now they are not scheduled to play until the trip to Mansfield on Wednesday, July 17.

Dale’s Crown Oil Arena will host a Rochdale Hornets rugby league game this Saturday, July 13 with football fixtures to come on July 17, 21 and 28.

There are also three rugby matches on July 28, August 4 and August 11 which run alongside four football games in 14 days as the new season kicks off.

That heavy schedule on a new surface has led to the cancellation.

"We would like to thank Blackburn Rovers for their understanding and co-operation on this matter and wish them good luck for the season ahead,” the League One club said in a statement.

"We would also like to apologise to both sets of supporters for any inconvenience caused.

"Anyone who has already purchased a ticket for the game is entitled to a full refund. Please contact the Rochdale Ticket Office to arrange your refund."