DUBLIN (AP) — World Rugby has postponed the final rounds of the men’s and women’s world sevens series and canceled the men’s under-20 world championship in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The London men’s tournament, the Langford women’s tournament in Canada, and the Paris combined tournament which were to be played in May have been provisionally postponed until September. The Hong Kong and Singapore men’s tournaments, due to be played in April, previously had been postponed until October.
The under-20 tournament, which was to be played in northern Italy in late June and July, has been canceled because of the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak in the region.
Some qualifying events for the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup and 2023 Rugby World Cup have been postponed and a repechage qualifying tournament for the Tokyo Olympic Games sevens is under review.
“We are in close dialogue with the IOC relating to … options to replace the final repechage tournament, should that be required,” World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said. “We are considering all options to ensure a fair and credible conclusion to the qualification process.”
Beaumont said World Rugby is in “continual dialogue” with unions, regions and the players’ association over the wider global impact on rugby “including financial implications driven by government and health authority measures to combat the spread of COVID-19.”
“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.”
More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports