World Rugby has cancelled Dubai and Cape Town to be hosted in Doha and South Africa respectively, the opening legs of HSBC World Rugby sevens series due to COVID-19 pandemic.
According to World rugby, they decided that the combined men’s and women’s Dubai and Cape Town rounds 2021, which were provisionally scheduled for 26-28 November and 4-6 December, 2020 respectively, will not take place due to the ongoing and dynamic global nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.
World Rugby and its partners continue to focus on delivering the remainder of the 2021 men’s and women’s Series, while working in full collaboration with all stakeholders to closely monitor the ongoing and challenging COVID-19 environment.
A working group chaired by World Rugby Executive Committee and Council member John Jeffrey and including representatives of host and participating unions, players and coaches, has been formed to review contingency plans and evaluate preparations for the safe, secure and impactful return to international rugby sevens competition, and to ensure that the product is the best it can be for hosts, participating unions, broadcasters and commercial partners.
The working group will also review opportunities for HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series events in 2021.
The second division of international rugby sevens was launched in 2020 to promote the global growth of the game and provide a pathway for emerging nations to gain promotion to core status on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, as Japan’s men successfully achieved after claiming the inaugural title in 2020.
With 21 of the 24 teams already qualified for the Olympic rugby sevens competition in Tokyo, planning for the Olympic Repechage final qualification event in the first half of 2021 is ongoing.