The 2020 edition of the Cape Town Sevens has been cancelled, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a profound impact on the sport.
This is after the 2019/20 season of the World Rugby Sevens Series came to an abrupt end earlier in the year, with the remaining four rounds of the competition abandoned.
Cape Town Sevens tournament cancelled
The game's governing body announced on Wednesday that the first two tournaments of the upcoming season would no longer go ahead as planned.
The series was due to kick off in Dubai in November before moving on to Cape Town in December.
SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux said although the latest developments are disappointing, they were not completely unexpected.
"The HSBC Cape Town Sevens is a highly complex, international event that involves 28 men's and women's teams travelling from all the corners of the globe and considering the progress of the pandemic, both here and around the world, the prospects of being able to deliver our normal spectacular were extremely slim," he said.
"The opening of air borders remains uncertain; the requirements of quarantining and the need for preparation time for teams really left us no choice. And even if we had been able to fly in 28 teams the likelihood is that we would have had to play behind closed doors, which held little appeal considering the unique nature of the event.
"Over and above all of that, the health of players and fans was of paramount importance and with the current uncertainties in that regard, all parties agreed on the need to cancel this year's event."Jurie Roux, SA Rugby CEO
This comes after Singapore, Hong Kong, London and Paris legs of the 2019/20 season were cancelled, with New Zealand crowned in both the men's and the women's competitions.
For the upcoming season, only the Dubai and Cape Town legs have been cancelled, with the rest of the campaign set to go ahead as planned.
Both tournaments will return to the calendar in 2021.
World Rugby chief executive, Brett Gosper said he shared in the disappointment of those who were looking forward to the beginning of the season.
"This is a prudent decision taken with the health and wellbeing of the global rugby community and wider society as our top priority and guided by the relevant government and international public health authority advice. We look forward to welcoming these wonderful destinations back to the Series following this year's hiatus."Brett Gosper, World Rugby CEO