World Rugby announced on Tuesday financial support as an incentive for the preparation of the Sevens teams that will face the Olympic Games next year, as a result of the economic difficulties they face as a result of the pandemic. In this context, the entity also reported that after consultations and constructive dialogue with the host organizations, it was confirmed that the men’s and women’s tournaments in Hamilton and Sydney of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021, provisionally dated 23-24, 30-31 January 2021, will not be held due to the global, dynamic and ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Decisions were made in line with the recommendations of the respective national governments and international public health organizations, and with the overall priority of the broad public. Both organizers will return to the series after 2021.
World Rugby continues to work alongside all participating hosts and unions, the International Rugby Players, business partners and stakeholders, to closely monitor global developments in the pandemic, while continuing to work towards the return of HSBC World Rugby to action. Sevens Series, planning to play the Hong Kong and Singapore tournaments in April 2021. The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series schedule update will be reported in due course.
Meanwhile, World Rugby, in full collaboration with host unions, regional associations, participating unions and the International Rugby Players, continues to evaluate and develop supplementary competition opportunities at the regional or cross-regional level, in addition to the circuit, that ensure that teams Qualifying for the Olympic Games have the appropriate amount of high-level competition opportunities to be able to compete at their best at the Games, despite the significant disruption across the sporting spectrum caused by the pandemic.
The Final Olympic Play-Off tournament is still being planned for the first half of 2021. With 21 of the 24 teams already qualified for the Olympic sevens competition in Tokyo, only two places for women and one for men remain to be determined in the final qualifying tournaments.
Rugby sevens is anticipated to be one of the most sought-after events at the Tokyo Games following the resounding success of Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, which captured the hearts of the country, filled stadiums and generated millions of passionate new fans in Japan and across Japan. Asia.
The inclusion of rugby sevens for the first time at the Olympic Games in Rio 2016 had a profound effect on the sport, attracting an estimated 30 million new fans globally.
World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper commented: “We continue to closely monitor the dynamic and global situation of COVID-19, and the health and well-being of the rugby community and the wider community, an issue that remains sacrosanct. While it is disappointing to not be able to host the events in New Zealand and Australia in January 2021, we are working hard together with all hosts, national unions and stakeholders to achieve a safe and high impact return to action as soon as possible; we look forward to returning to Sydney and Hamilton in the future. ”
Rugby Australia Acting CEO Rob Clark said: “We at Rugby Australia want to acknowledge World Rugby’s generous support as our teams are focusing their preparation for the Olympics in 2021. Our women’s team is desperate to defend their gold medal on next year in Tokyo, while the boys have been growing gradually in the last four years so this investment offers both programs the opportunity to continue that development. “