Coronavirus: Hong Kong and Singapore sevens rescheduled

Fiji won their fifth Hong Kong sevens title in a row in 2019

The Hong Kong and Singapore legs of the World Rugby Sevens Series have been rescheduled from April to October because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Several Asian-based sporting events have been postponed, including April’s Chinese Grand Prix.

On Thursday, the coronavirus death toll in China rose above 1,350.

“The health and safety of our players, fans and everyone working on the event is always our highest priority,” a World Rugby statement said.

The Hong Kong sevens, due to take place from 3-5 April, will now be the final leg in the series from 16-18 October, while the Singapore tournament, which was scheduled for 11-12 April, will be on 10-11 October.

The postponement leaves an 11-week gap in the men’s calendar between March’s Vancouver tournament and the London leg on 23-24 May.

A women’s tournament will run alongside the men’s in Hong Kong for the first time this year, but the change of schedule means women’s teams will have a three-month gap between Sydney Sevens on 1-2 February and Langford Sevens on 2-3 May.

Tokyo Olympics chief Toshiro Muto said on Thursday that cancelling or postponing the 2020 Games, due to begin on 24 July, because of the coronavirus outbreak “has not been considered”.

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