World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper says while the cancellation of the Cape Town and Dubai legs of the World Sevens Series is disappointing, it’s in the best interest of the global rugby community.
In a statement released on Wednesday, World Rugby confirmed the cancellation of both the Dubai Sevens and the Cape Town Sevens – the two tournaments that usually kick off the World Sevens Series season – due to the raging coronavirus pandemic.
The events were provisionally scheduled to take place the last weekend in November and the first weekend in December, respectively.
‘While we share in the disappointment of players, teams, fans, hosts and everyone involved with the popular events in Dubai and Cape Town, this is a prudent decision taken with the health and well-being of the global rugby community and wider society as our top priority and guided by the relevant government and international public health authority advice.
‘We look forward to welcoming these wonderful destinations back to the series following this year’s hiatus.
‘Through the Sevens working group we are continuing to work very hard in close collaboration with all stakeholders, including host and participating unions, international rugby players, and our commercial and broadcast partners to achieve our shared objective of a spectacular return to HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series action as soon as it is safe to do so and we continue to plan and prepare for all remaining events in the 2021 series.
‘Our research demonstrates that rugby sevens is an important driver of global growth for our sport, particularly in emerging nations where it attracts new fans with its dynamic, skilful and spectacular style.
‘Rugby sevens is a key priority for our organisation and as we prepare for the Tokyo Olympic Games hot on the heels of the success of the Rugby World Cup in Japan, 2021 has the potential to provide another huge step change in the awareness and participation of rugby sevens around the globe.’
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