Following the recent announcement of the conclusion of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with New Zealand confirmed as the men’s and women’s circuit champion, World Rugby and its partners continue to focus on planning for the circuit. 2021 and the preparation for the Tokyo Olympics, less than a year.
After an extensive process of consultation and constructive dialogue with the host organizations, it was decided that the combined men’s and women’s stages in Dubai and Cape Town of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021, provisionally scheduled to take place from 26 to 28 November and 4 as of December 6, respectively, they will not be disputed due to the continuing and global nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Decisions were made in line with the advice of relevant governments and global health authorities, with the health and well-being of the rugby community and the general public as the premise. Both tournaments will return to the full series after this season.
World Rugby and its partners remain focused on being able to carry out the rest of the men’s and women’s 2021 seasons, while working in full collaboration with all stakeholders to closely monitor the constant and challenging scope of COVID-19.
A task force, led by John Jeffrey, a member of the World Rugby Executive Committee and Council, which includes representatives of participating tournaments and unions, players and coaches, was formed to analyze contingency plans and assess preparations for safe return and impacting sevens international rugby, ensuring the product is the best possible for hosts, participating unions, television and business partners.
The task force also explored the possibilities of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series for 2021. The second division of the international seven was launched in 2020 to promote the global growth of rugby and offer a path for emerging nations to achieve promotion and be Fixed members of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, a place Japan achieved by earning the inaugural title in 2020.
With 21 of the 24 teams already qualified for the rugby sevens at the Tokyo Olympics, the qualifying tournament for the Olympic play-off is still being planned for the first half of 2021. Rugby sevens are expected to be one of the biggest events Demand for tickets at the Tokyo Games after the enormous success of the Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, a world that captivated the hearts of the local public, filled states and generated millions of new and passionate supporters throughout Japan and Asia.
World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper said: “While we share the disappointment of players, teams, hosts and everyone involved in the popular events in Dubai and Cape Town, we have made a wise decision, taking the health and well-being of our community. global rugby and the general public as a priority, guided by international health and governmental authorities. We look forward to welcoming you to these two fantastic destinations on the circuit again later this year. ”
“Through the sevens working group, we continue to be in close proximity with all stakeholders, including participating hosts and unions, the International Rugby Players, and our business and television partners working towards the shared goal of achieving a spectacular return from HSBC. World Rugby Sevens Series as soon as it is safe to do so. We continue to plan and prepare for the other events of Circuit 2021. ”
“Our studies show that rugby sevens is a key element in the growth of our sport, particularly in emerging nations where it attracts new supporters thanks to its dynamism, skill and spectacularity. Rugby sevens is a key priority in our organization and as we prepare for the Tokyo Olympics on the success of the Rugby World Cup in Japan, 2021 has the potential to take another huge step towards the recognition and participation of rugby sevens worldwide . “
Gary Chapman, President of Dnata & Emirates Group Services, said: “We are obviously disappointed that we cannot receive the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens for the first time in 51 years, but we understand the extraordinary circumstances leading to the cancellation of the first two tournaments today. of the new season. ”
International Rugby Players Director of Legal and Player Welfare and Safety David Quinlan said: “Players are again disappointed to see two major tournaments canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but these decisions are made for reasons. correct. ”
“We are working alongside our representatives, World Rugby and other groups interested in the sevens working group to ensure that we achieve the most meaningful and comprehensive schedule possible for the following season.”
Source: World Rugby