Home Sport Pandemic derails Cape Town Sevens … again

Pandemic derails Cape Town Sevens … again

General view of fans during day 3 of the 2019 HSBC Cape Town Sevens at Cape Town Stadium on 15 December 2019 © Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

World Rugby and SA Rugby announced on Friday that the Cape Town leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series, as well as the tournament in Singapore, planned for October, have been cancelled.

CAPE TOWN – The popular Cape Town Sevens tournament has been cancelled for a second consecutive year “due to ongoing challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic”.

World Rugby and SA Rugby announced on Friday that the Cape Town leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series, as well as the tournament in Singapore, planned for October 29-30, have been cancelled.

“We highly regret that we had to cancel the Cape Town Sevens for a second successive season, but unfortunately the situation with the pandemic has made it impossible for us to stage the world-class event we’ve become used to in recent years,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.

“There were simply too many insurmountable challenges, in the ever-changing environment we are currently operating in, to allow us to predictably plan for an event of this magnitude.

“Due to Covid travel restrictions, several major teams had already indicated that they would not be able to travel to Cape Town in December, which further complicated our planning.

“In conjunction with World Rugby, we had no other choice than to take this very disappointing but necessary decision, with the health and welfare of players, fans and the wider public as top priority. However, we are hard at work to deliver a world-class Rugby World Cup Sevens in September next year.”

As a result of the cancellation of the two tournaments, the World Series will now look slightly different for the 2021 season.

The series will still kick off with the Canada Sevens men’s events alongside women’s fast four tournaments in Vancouver (September 18-19) and Edmonton (September 25-26) later this month – forming the 2021 Series – while Dubai will now host a pair of men’s and women’s combined events, which will kick off the 2022 Series.

The Dubai Sevens will host a behind closed doors round on November 26-27, followed by a second event on December 3-4 with fans in attendance at The Sevens Stadium.

A busy and exciting year is already in the planning for 2022, with the World Rugby Sevens Series, which will be announced later this month, followed by the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on July 29-31, and concluding with the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town on September 9-11.

Following constructive discussions, it has been agreed that Sydney, Australia and Hamilton, New Zealand, will not be part of the schedule in 2022 due to the ongoing travel and logistical challenges associated with the Covid-19 pandemic in this region. Advanced discussions are ongoing towards replacement hosts for these events in the 2022 Series.

Given the unique circumstances of the pandemic, there will be no relegation from the 2021 Series and the results will not contribute towards seedings for any other future events.

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