World Rugby are expected to announce next week that the London and Paris legs of HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series are to join a growing list of postponed tournaments in a move that would severely affect preparations for the Olympic Games event in Tokyo which is still scheduled to take place at the end of July.
Fiji, the defending gold medal winners from Rio four years ago, have been informed that World Rugby will call next week with news on the London (23-24 May) and Paris (30-31) legs of the circuit which has already had to move the Hong Kong and Singapore tournaments to October.
This has left the World’s top teams searching for ways to keep their players active and match fit leading into Tokyo with many planning three and four team ad-hoc events, but travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic is ruling out many of these initiatives.
FRU Chief Executive Officer John O’Connor says World Rugby has been monitoring the effects of COVID-19 in England and France which have brought in travel restrictions and will confirm their decision next week. Fiji, the reigning World Series champions are set to resume training shortly after completing their 14 days self-isolation which was triggered after they returned from the tournaments in Los Angeles and Vancouver.
Two members of the Australian rugby sevens program have been tested for COVID-19 after showing signs and symptoms associated with the pandemic but have returned negative results which means squad training will resume tomorrow.
“Rugby Australia has confirmed that members of the Australian Sevens program who were tested for COVID-19 have each returned negative tests,” said the ARU statement. “There are not currently any concerns for any other members of the program, and teams will return to training at Rugby Australia headquarters on Thursday.”
South Africa are also testing their sevens squad and U20 side while New Zealand 7s team have halted training after two of their recent opponents are being tested for coronavirus.
The next international sevens event is for the women in Langford on May 2-3 but that could be under threat after the Canadian government announced it was closing its borders to all foreigners except US citizens.
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