Following a comprehensive consultation process, World Rugby has today announced the remaining rounds of the Women’s and Men’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2020 in Langford, London, Paris, Singapore and Hong Kong have been cancelled due to the ongoing and dynamic global nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the 2020 Series to an early conclusion.
The decision follows detailed and constructive dialogue with the host and participating unions, and has been taken with the health and wellbeing of the rugby community and the wider public as top priority, and in line with the relevant national government and public health authority advice.
New Zealand will be awarded both the Women’s and Men’s titles courtesy of being top of the standings before the pandemic interrupted the Series with five of the eight women’s rounds and six of the ten men’s rounds successfully completed – Ireland Men, in their maiden season as a core team, will finish 10th, while Ireland Women also finish 10th in the 2020 standings.
World Rugby has confirmed there will be no relegation from the Women’s or Men’s Series in 2020 and with the HSBC World Rugby Challenger Series also cancelled, Japan are awarded the inaugural Men’s Challenger Series title as they topped the rankings after the two completed events, claiming gold and bronze in the two rounds that took place earlier in 2020 in Chile and Uruguay.
Japan will join the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021 as the sixteenth core team.
As a result of these amendments, seedings for the Tokyo Olympic Games will be adapted to include results from the 2021 Series to ensure they provide the most robust and accurate representation of current form when the Games commence in July 2021.
World Rugby Chairman, Bill Beaumont, said: “While it is very disappointing for players, fans, organisers and everyone involved to have to cancel these events due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the health and wellbeing of the rugby community and wider society remains the number one priority.
“These difficult decisions have been taken following detailed consultation with our union partners and in line with advice from the various government and public health agencies around the world, given the global nature of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
“Rugby sevens is a key driver of global growth for our sport, particularly in emerging nations, and it firmly remains a top priority for our organisation. As we begin to see light at the end of the tunnel, 2021 has potential to be a very exciting year for rugby sevens with the Tokyo Olympic Games on the horizon.
“Congratulations to New Zealand on being awarded both the women’s and men’s Series titles following their outstanding and consistent performances prior to the onset of the pandemic, and to Japan for being crowned champions of the inaugural Challenger Series and securing a core place on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021.
“We thank our union, commercial and broadcast partners for their continued support and solidarity during this difficult time. We are united in our commitment and will continue to work hard in a spirit of collaboration as we plan for a return to international rugby sevens as soon as safely possible.”
Tuesday’s announcement officially brings the curtain down on Ireland’s debut campaign on the Men’s World Series, with Anthony Eddy‘s side recording sixth place finishes in Cape Town and Los Angeles earlier this year, in addition to a seventh-place finish in Sydney.
Ireland’s Jordan Conroy finishes top of the try-scoring charts on the Men’s Series after the 26-year-old winger crossed 30 times during the 2020 campaign, eight scores ahead of USA’s Carlin Isles, while captain Billy Dardis sits sixth in the top points scorer charts with 113.
Ticket holders for the cancelled HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2020 events in Langford, London, Paris, Singapore and Hong Kong are advised to contact the event organiser for more information regarding their respective event.
Further information on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021 will follow in due course.