After detailed and constructive dialogue with the respective host and participating unions, and with the wellbeing of the global rugby family at heart, the following events have been postponed:
- The men’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments in London and Paris will be postponed, provisionally until September
- The women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Langford has been postponed until later in the year
- The final men’s World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series event has been postponed until later in the year
- Some Rugby World Cup 2021 and 2023 qualifying events have been postponed
In addition, the following event has been cancelled:
- The World Rugby U20 Championship 2020, scheduled to be hosted in northern Italy in late June and July, has been cancelled following detailed consultation with the Federazione Italiana Rugby
The Olympic Games Repechage qualification tournament scheduled for June is under review and World Rugby continues to be in close consultation with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regarding the implications for the qualification process in the event that the Repechage is unable to be hosted due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The World Rugby Hall of Fame, located in Rugby, UK, will be closed until the end of May in line with public health authority directives.
These latest decisions have been taken in consultation with the respective unions and follows previously confirmed postponements of the Hong Kong and Singapore rounds of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series event in Stellenbosch, South Africa. They have been taken in line with the relevant government and public health authority advice.
Ticket holders for the postponed HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series events in Langford, London and Paris should access the following links for more information regarding the respective events:
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “We stand in solidarity with the global rugby family and people around the world at this exceptional and difficult time, and I will ensure we continue to do everything in our power to protect the wellbeing of the global rugby family and the wider public.
“Taking the appropriate measures that mitigate the spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus in line with government and public health agency responses and advice is paramount. This has underpinned our decision, taken in consultation with our unions, to suspend these World Rugby tournament activities with immediate effect, including the cancellation of the World Rugby U20 Championship, following conversations with our friends at the Italian federation.
“We are also in close dialogue with the IOC relating to the conclusion of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games rugby sevens qualification, specifically options to replace the final repechage tournament, should that be required. We have two women’s and one men’s teams left to qualify and are considering all options to ensure a fair and credible conclusion to the qualification process.
“At this extraordinary time we are in continual close dialogue with unions, regions and international rugby players relating to the wider global impact on rugby activities of the government and health agency guidelines and the knock-on financial implications for the sport as a whole.
"The Executive Committee will oversee the implementation of a detailed action plan that will guide us through this challenging period as a sport unified across the international and domestic environments.
“Our advice to everyone involved with rugby continues to be to stay safe, adhere to the relevant government advice and watch out for each other.”
Further World Rugby tournament-related updates will follow in due course.
Meanwhile, all World Rugby staff based in its Dublin headquarters have been working from home for more than a week in line with the Irish Government directive regarding gatherings, while all non-essential business travel has been suspended until at least 29 March.