Concerns over the coronavirus outbreak have led to both the Hong Kong and Singapore Sevens tournaments being rescheduled.
On Thursday, it was confirmed that the seventh and eighth legs of the current World Rugby Sevens Series would not go ahead as planned. The Hong Kong Sevens was set to take place from 3-6 April, with the Singapore tournament a week later.
‘The health and safety of our players, fans and everyone working on the event is always our highest priority,’ a statement read. ‘This prudent decision has been taken in order to help protect the global rugby community and the wider public and was taken based on the World Health Organisation and relevant public authority travel and health guidelines. The decision is fully supported by stakeholders, including unions and commercial partners.
‘Both events will be rescheduled to conclude the World Rugby Sevens Series 2020 with the Singapore Sevens now taking place on 10-11 October and the Cathay Pacific/Hong Kong Sevens completing the series on 16-18 October.’
It could be a massive factor when it comes to determining the sevens series leaderboard, while both events were seen as important preparation events for the rugby sevens competitions at this year’s Olympics, which runs from 27 July to 1 August.
The World Health Organisation has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency, which has also led to the cancellation of a number of sporting events, including the China Grand Prix.
New Zealand currently lead the sevens series standings, with South Africa in second place.