Following a number of games across multiple leagues being impacted by the outbreak of the coronavirus, World Rugby has today announced further action in response to the global pandemic.
In a statement, World Rugby has confirmed that the men’s World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments in London and Paris will be postponed, provisionally until September, with the women’s edition of the tournament in Langford also postponed until later in the year.
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Additionally, some Rugby World Cup 2021 and 2023 qualifying events have also been postponed, with the World Rugby U20 Championship 2020, scheduled to be hosted in northern Italy in late June and July, also not dodging cancellation.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “...Taking the appropriate measures that mitigate the spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus in line with government and public health agency responses and advice is paramount. This has underpinned our decision, taken in consultation with our unions, to suspend these World Rugby tournament activities with immediate effect, including the cancellation of the World Rugby U20 Championship following conversations with our friends at the Italian federation.
“We are also in close dialogue with the IOC relating to the conclusion of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games rugby sevens qualification, specifically options to replace the final Repechage tournament, should that be required. We have two women’s and one men’s teams left to qualify and are currently considering all options to ensure a fair and credible conclusion to the qualification process.
“Looking at a longer-term strategy, we are in continual dialogue with our unions, regions and the players' association relating to the wider global impact on rugby activities, including financial implications, driven by government and health authority measures to combat the spread of COVID-19..."