Following a comprehensive consultation process the remaining rounds of the women’s and men’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2020 in Langford, London, Paris, Singapore and Hong Kong have been cancelled due to the ongoing and dynamic global nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the 2020 Series to an early conclusion.
The decision follows detailed and constructive dialogue with the host and participating unions, and has been taken with the health and wellbeing of the rugby community and the wider public as top priority, and in line with the relevant national government and public health authority advice.
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New Zealand will be awarded both the women’s and men’s titles courtesy of being top of the standings before the pandemic interrupted the Series with five of the eight women’s rounds and six of the 10 men’s rounds successfully completed.
The Black Ferns Sevens had topped the podium in four of the five rounds in the women’s Series so far, while the All Blacks Sevens had claimed three victories and five podium finishes in the six rounds completed in the men’s Series.
Olympic champions Australia finish second in the women’s Series with Canada in third. In the men’s Series, the 2018 champions South Africa finish in second place with Olympic and 2019 Series champions Fiji in third. There will be no relegation from the women’s or men’s Series in 2020.
The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series men’s and women’s final events will also not take place in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Challenger Series was launched by World Rugby this year to boost rugby sevens’ development across the globe, particularly in emerging nations, and this objective remains a key priority, providing a promotion pathway into the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
Japan are awarded the inaugural men’s Challenger Series title as they topped the rankings after the two completed events, claiming gold and bronze in the two rounds that took place earlier in 2020 in Chile and Uruguay. Japan will join the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021 as the 16th core team.
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There will be no promotion to the women’s Series this year as the inaugural Challenger Series event originally scheduled for 28-29 March in Stellenbosch, South Africa, was not able to take place.
As a result of these amendments, seedings for the Tokyo Olympic Games will be adapted to include results from the 2021 Series to ensure they provide the most robust and accurate representation of current form when the Games commence in July 2021.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “While it is very disappointing for players, fans, organisers and everyone involved to have to cancel these events due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the health and wellbeing of the rugby community and wider society remains the number one priority.
“These difficult decisions have been taken following detailed consultation with our union partners and in line with advice from the various government and public health agencies around the world, given the global nature of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
“Rugby sevens is a key driver of global growth for our sport, particularly in emerging nations, and it firmly remains a top priority for our organisation. As we begin to see light at the end of the tunnel, 2021 has potential to be a very exciting year for rugby sevens with the Tokyo Olympic Games on the horizon.
“Congratulations to New Zealand on being awarded both the women’s and men’s Series titles following their outstanding and consistent performances prior to the onset of the pandemic, and to Japan for being crowned champions of the inaugural Challenger Series and securing a core place on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021.
“We thank our union, commercial and broadcast partners for their continued support and solidarity during this difficult time. We are united in our commitment and will continue to work hard in a spirit of collaboration as we plan for a return to international rugby sevens as soon as safely possible.”
HSBC Global Head of Brand Partnerships Jonathan Castleman said: “As long-term global partner of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, we fully support the difficult decision taken to cancel these tournaments in response to the ongoing impact of Coronavirus. The health, safety and welfare of the players, fans and everyone working on the events must be the priority. We will be working closely with our partners, World Rugby, to help the sport rebuild and to ensure that as soon as it is safe to do so, rugby sevens will once again entertain and inspire communities around the world.”
International Rugby Players Head of Legal and Player Welfare, David Quinlan said: “Players are naturally disappointed at today’s announcement, however given the circumstances of this pandemic, it’s the right decision for all concerned. We will continue to work with World Rugby on next season’s schedule so that players can focus on getting back on the pitch and preparing for an Olympic Games in 2021.”
Ticket holders for the cancelled HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2020 events in Langford, London, Paris, Singapore and Hong Kong are advised to contact the event organiser for more information regarding their respective event.
Further information on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021 will follow in due course.
Hong Kong Rugby 7s
The HKRU remain appreciative of the significant and sustained efforts exerted by all parties including
World Rugby, other tournament hosts, participating teams and the players themselves in seeking to
complete the Series.
“We are of course disappointed not to be hosting the world-famous Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong
Sevens for the first time in 45 years, but we understand the extraordinary circumstances
surrounding today’s cancellation of the remainder of the Series,” said Mr Robbie McRobbie, Chief
Executive of the Hong Kong Rugby Union.
“Like our national sevens athletes, we now turn our attention to preparations for the 2021 season,
and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to help us celebrate the 45th Cathay Pacific/HSBC
Hong Kong Sevens, the world’s biggest rugby party.”
The 2021 Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens is scheduled for 2-4 April.
All tickets purchased through official HKRU channels will be honoured for the April 2021 event or can
be refunded, while the public ballot will not be redrawn – more information on ticketing is available
via the Hong Kong Sevens website at www.hksevens.com.
Singapore Sevens 2021
The HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens 2021 is scheduled for April 10 and 11. All tickets purchased for the
2020 event are valid for the 2021 edition.
For 2020 ticket holders who are unable to attend the event in 2021, your tickets will be fully refunded.
Please email [email protected] or call +65 3158 8588 to request your refund, and include the
name of the credit card holder used to make the ticket purchase.
We look forward to welcoming the HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens back to the National Stadium in
2021. Ticket purchase information for the 2021 edition will be available at www.singapore7s.com.sg
in the last quarter of 2020.