22 Mar 2020

World Rugby postpones more events

7:52 pm on 22 March 2020

World Rugby has announced further postponements in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

All Blacks sevens co-captain Tim Mikkelson and Black Ferns sevens captain Sarah Hirini with their trophies from the Hamilton Sevens . 2020.

Tim Mikkelson and Sarah Hirini Photo: Photosport

The men's World Sevens Series tournaments in London and Paris, originally scheduled for May, have provisionally been set for September, along with the women's tournament in Langford, Canada.

The World under-20 men's championship, scheduled to be hosted in northern Italy in late June and July, has been cancelled.

Some Rugby World Cup 2021 and 2023 qualifying events have been postponed

The Hong Kong and Singapore sevens tournaments had already been rescheduled for October.

New Zealand currently tops both the men's and women's World Series Sevens standings.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: "We stand in solidarity with the global rugby family and people around the world at this exceptional and difficult time, and I will ensure we continue to do everything in our power to protect the wellbeing of the global rugby family and the wider public.

"Taking the appropriate measures that mitigate the spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus in line with government and public health agency responses and advice is paramount. This has underpinned our decision, taken in consultation with our unions, to suspend these World Rugby tournament activities with immediate effect, including the cancellation of the World Rugby U20 Championship following conversations with our friends at the Italian federation.

"We are also in close dialogue with the IOC relating to the conclusion of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games rugby sevens qualification, specifically options to replace the final Repechage tournament, should that be required. We have two women's and one men's teams left to qualify and are currently considering all options to ensure a fair and credible conclusion to the qualification process.

"Looking at a longer-term strategy, we are in continual dialogue with our unions, regions and the players' association relating to the wider global impact on rugby activities, including financial implications, driven by government and health authority measures to combat the spread of COVID-19.

"At this extraordinary time, we are united in our commitment to finding ways of ensuring that on-field activity can resume as soon as it is safe and possible to do so. To that end, the World Rugby Executive Committee is driving the implementation of a detailed action plan that will guide us through this challenging period as a sport unified across the international and domestic environments."