Concerns over the deadly coronavirus outbreak have prompted World Rugby to postpone the Hong Kong and Singapore Sevens tournaments scheduled for later this year.
The two tournaments were originally set to take place in April, but have been moved towards the end of the world series, as both host cities remain vulnerable to the virus.
Coronavirus outbreak prompts World Rugby to postpone Sevens tournaments
As a result, a decision has been made by the game’s governing body, along with the Hong Kong Rugby Union and Sport Singapore to effect a change to the schedule.
“The health and safety of our players, fans and everyone working on the event is always our highest priority,” a statement issued out by World Rugby reads.
“This prudent decision has been taken in order to help protect the global rugby community and the wider public and was taken based on the World Health Organisation and relevant public authority travel and health guidelines.
“The decision is fully supported by stakeholders, including unions and commercial partners.”World Rugby Sevens
BREAKING: The Hong Kong and Singapore rounds of the 2020 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series have been rescheduled owing to ongoing Coronavirus health concerns.All official tickets will be valid for the rescheduled events. More here: https://t.co/FNVOpM7fR3— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) February 13, 2020
How the schedule looks after the changes
The two events now move from April towards the end of the series, with the Hong Kong leg taking place from 10 to 11 October, followed by the Singapore Sevens tournament, which begins on 16 October, concluding on Sunday, the 18th.
There was, however, no changes made to the 2021 calendar, as both cities will host their respective legs of the series in April.
World Rugby has reassured fans that tickets that have been purchased will remain valid.
“Fans who have purchased tickets for Singapore and Hong Kong via official channels are advised that their tickets will be honoured for the rescheduled events and a full refund will be provided in the event fans are unable to attend the rescheduled events.” World Rugby
South Africa crashed out in the quarterfinal stage of the 2019 edition of the Hong Kong Sevens but went on to redeem themselves by clinching the Singapore title a week later.
The Blitzboks are currently second in the overall standings, after reaching three finals out of the four completed tournaments, winning one.
The world series next heads to Los Angeles, with the tournament taking place between 29 February and 1 March, before heading down to Vancouver, Canada a week later.
The European leg follows with tournaments in London and Paris, before concluding in Asia with Hong Kong and Singapore.