Hong Kong, Singapore 7s Postponed Due To Coronavirus

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Rugby's Hong Kong and Singapore Sevens events were postponed from April to October over the Coronavirus on Thursday, joining the Chinese Grand Prix, golf, and soccer fixtures on the growing list of sporting casualties.

The decision, which disrupts sevens rugby in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics, was made "in response to continued health concerns relating to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak", World Rugby said.

"The health and safety of our players, fans and everyone working on the event is always our highest priority," it added in a statement.

The announcement comes a day after Formula One's Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, scheduled for April 19, was postponed, becoming the biggest single sports event affected by COVID-19 so far.

The flagship Hong Kong Sevens was slated for April 3-5, with Singapore a week later. Both cities are scrambling to deal with the virus, with 50 confirmed cases each and one death in Hong Kong.

The Singapore tournament will now take place on October 10-11 and Hong Kong a week later on October 16-18, concluding this year's 10-stop world series.

The COVID-19 death toll leapt to 1,367 on Thursday with nearly 60,000 infections in China, where the virus is thought to have emerged in the city of Wuhan.

Signature event 


The Hong Kong Sevens, held every northern hemisphere spring since 1976, is an important source of revenue and prestige for a city which has plunged into recession following months of pro-democracy protests and the US-China trade war.

The colorful, three-day tournament is the signature event of the sevens series and was a driving force behind the sport's Olympic inclusion.

The Hong Kong Sevens will return to its usual slot next year, the city's rugby chief told AFP, adding that he expected to sell out both the 2020 and 2021 tournaments even though they are just six months apart.

"We're disappointed that in Hong Kong and China and globally we're struggling with a big health issue, but we're delighted that World Rugby were able to confer us this slot," said HKRU chief executive Robbie McRobbie.

"We've always wanted to be the last slot (on the world series), and we've finally and rather bizarrely got our wish," he added.

Asia's sports schedule has been hammered by the coronavirus, with Singapore's HSBC Women's World Championship, starting on February 27, as well as two golf events cancelled this week.


The start of China's Super League football is indefinitely on hold, and Chinese clubs are mostly sidelined from Asia's Champions League until April.

Athletics' World Indoor Championships, due to be held in Nanjing in March, were postponed for a year, while boxing, tennis, basketball, skiing, diving, snooker and badminton have also been affected in China.

A major sports conference scheduled for Beijing is another casualty. Organizers said they were looking for an alternative venue for the SportsAccord World Sports and Business Summit 2020, originally set for Beijing from April 19-24.

The biggest domino to fall was Shanghai's Formula One grand prix, which was postponed "to ensure the health and safety of the traveling staff, championship participants and fans", the FIA, motorsport's governing body said on Wednesday.

No new date was proposed for the race -- one of 22 on this year's calendar -- and there has been no announcement about the inaugural grand prix in Vietnam, scheduled for April 5.

© Agence France-Presse

Sponsor Allianz Severs Long-Running Ties With Saracens

Allianz heaped more misery on English and European rugby champions Saracens on Thursday, announcing they would be terminating their sponsorship of both the club and the stadium at the end of the season.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Major League Rugby Round 2 Preview

If Week 1 taught us anything about the 2020 season, it's that the competition this year is going to be wide open. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Townsend's Message To Russell Simple: Get On Board Or Get out

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend believes Finn Russell has shown he is unwilling to "align himself" with the standards expected of players in his Six Nations squad.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Six Nations, MLR, & Super Rugby: 10 Monday Notes

It was a huge weekend of rugby all across the globe, as we saw Round 2 of the Six Nations, Round 2 of Super Rugby, opening weekend of the MLR, and a Premiership Cup semi-final between Sale and Saracens (which you can watch again on FloRugby!)

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Ireland Eager To Knock Off Grand Slam Champions Wales

Ireland coach Andy Farrell says his side are brimming with confidence ahead of their match with Grand Slam holders Wales after launching their Six Nations campaign with victory against Scotland.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Wales Looks To Extend Six Nations Win Streak To 9 vs Ireland

Saracens centre Nick Tompkins will make his first Wales start in the Six Nations clash against Ireland on Saturday, in the only change to Wayne Pivac's line-up.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Russell Again Left Out Of Scotland Six Nations Squad

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend has told Finn Russell he will not consider bringing the shamed star back into the fold until after this weekend's Six Nations clash with England.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Eddie Drops Youngs To Bench, Names England Side For Scotland

England coach Eddie Jones has dropped experienced scrum-half Ben Youngs to the bench in one of five changes to his side for this weekend's Six Nations clash against Scotland.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Super Rugby: Five Round 2 Talking Points

The Wellington Hurricanes travel to Buenos Aires to face the Jaguares this weekend after a drubbing in Cape Town, while the Auckland Blues have a mini-injury crisis just a week into the new campaign.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In