The World Rugby Sevens Series, the top tour for the discipline that debuted at the Olympics in 2016, canceled this season’s remaining stops in September and October, prematurely ending the 2019-20 campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic.
New Zealand led the women’s and men’s standings a little more than halfway through each season and have been awarded the titles. The U.S. women finished fifth and the men seventh, one year after each team registered program-best second-place finishes.
“While it is very disappointing for players, fans, organizers and everyone involved to have to cancel these events due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the health and well-being of the rugby community and wider society remains the number one priority,” World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said in a press release. “These difficult decisions have been taken following detailed consultation with our union partners and in line with advice from the various government and public health agencies around the world, given the global nature of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.”
The last 2019-20 season stops were originally scheduled for April and May. Those events — Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, London and Paris — were postponed to September and October due to the virus before being canceled altogether in Tuesday’s announcement.
The season ended after five of eight women’s events and six of 10 men’s events.
The 2020-21 World Series schedule has not been announced. The last two women’s seasons began in October. The men’s season traditionally begins in late November/early December.
OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!Follow @nbcolympictalk