Four stages of World Rugby Sevens Series cancelled in space of an hour
Four stages of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – across both the 2021 and the 2022 seasons – have been canceled in the space of an hour.
The Singapore and Cape Town stages of the 2021 have now been abandoned, while World Rugby and Rugby Australia have also confirmed that the HSBC Sydney Sevens and the Hamilton Sevens will not take place in 2022, due to concerns over the spread of Delta variant.
As four of the major stops in the HSBC World Series circuit, the quadruple whammy represents a major blow for the tournament.
A Rugby Australia statement reads: “The decision was taken in line with relevant government and international public health authority advice, and with the health and wellbeing of the community in mind.
“The full HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series schedule is due to resume in 2022 however the Hamilton leg, the partner to the Sydney event, will also not go-ahead following consultation with World Rugby, the host unions, and their respective partners.”
Rugby Australia and New Zealand Rugby say they will continue to consult with World Rugby regarding the establishment of several regional Oceania Sevens tournaments with the support of the Australian government, as preparation for the men’s and women’s teams ahead of the upcoming Commonwealth Games and Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2022.
“It is incredibly disappointing that the Sydney Sevens will not be take place in 2022,” said Rugby Australia Chief Executive Andy Marinos. “It has become one of the most exciting events on the World Series calendar, and I want to thank our government partner, Destination NSW and World Rugby for their support and understanding in the matter.
“We will be back in 2023 where we have no doubt the tournament will be another sporting celebration in Sydney,” Marinos said.
World Rugby also confirmed that the Singapore and Cape Town rounds are unable to take place in 2021 due to the impacts of the pandemic, while back-to-back combined Emirates Dubai 7s events will now open the 2022 Series.
“Unfortunately and despite the best efforts of all stakeholders involved, due to the ongoing and variable impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic the HSBC Singapore Sevens and HSBC Cape Town Sevens planned for 29-30 October and 10-12 December respectively will not go ahead as planned in 2021,” said World Rugby in a statement.
World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin said: “The truly global nature of the Series has made it difficult to plan with certainty in this uniquely challenging time as the ongoing and dynamic impacts and travel restrictions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic continue to present a challenge to all stakeholders. Together with the host organisers we are disappointed not to be able to deliver the planned Series events in Singapore and Cape Town this year, however we look forward to bringing the joy and spirit of rugby sevens back to both cities in 2022. As ever, the health and welfare of players, fans and wider society continues to be our primary concern.”
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