World Rugby has postponed the men’s World Sevens Series tournaments in London and Paris until September due to the coronavirus.
Rugby Union’s governing body also delayed a string of other sevens competitions and placed the Olympic Games repechage qualification tournament under review.
In addition, the World Rugby Under-20 Championship that was to be held in northern Italy in June and July, has been cancelled.
The Hong Kong and Singapore rounds of the men’s World Sevens Series and women’s World Sevens Challenger Series in South Africa had already been postponed.
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 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.”
With the sporting schedule thrown into turmoil by the pandemic, Beaumont said the World Rugby Executive Committee is driving the implementation of a “dedicated action plan” to keep rugby on track for when play can resume.
“Looking at a longer-term strategy, we are in continual dialogue with our unions, regions and the players’ association relating to the wider global impact on rugby activities, including financial implications, driven by government and health authority measures to combat the spread of COVID-19,” he said.
“At this extraordinary time, we are united in our commitment to finding ways of ensuring that on-field activity can resume as soon as it is safe and possible to do so.”
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