CAPE TOWN – The Blitzboks’ preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games suffered another setback, albeit expected, on Friday when World Rugby postponed the London and Paris Sevens tournaments, originally set for May this year.
The measures by the world governing body are in response to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic world-wide and follow the postponement of rounds seven and eight of the World Sevens Series, the Hong Kong and Singapore Sevens tournaments.
The postponement of the London and Paris tournaments – rounds nine and ten of the World Sevens Series – means that the only major rugby sevens tournament still in limbo is the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, set for 27 July 2020.
In a press release on Friday, World Rugby said:
After detailed and constructive dialogue with the respective host and participating unions, and with the wellbeing of the global rugby family at heart, the following events have been postponed:
– The men’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments in London and Paris will be postponed, provisionally until September
– The women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Langford has been postponed until later in the year
– The final men’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series event has been postponed until later in the year.
The men’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments in London and Paris will be postponed, provisionally until September
— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) March 20, 2020
World Rugby last month also postponed the women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series originally planned for Stellenbosch at the end of March.
Only six of the ten-tournament World Rugby Sevens Series for men have been completed so far.
New Zealand (115 points) is currently top of the table followed by South Africa (104) and Fiji (83 points) in second and third place respectively.