World Sevens Series players and coaches have reacted differently to the conclusion of the 2020 season.
World Rugby on Tuesday said “following a comprehensive consultation process, the remaining rounds of the women’s and men’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2020 in Langford, London, Paris, Singapore, and Hong Kong have been canceled due to the ongoing and dynamic global nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the 2020 Series to an early conclusion.”
Kenya 7s captain Andrew Amonde, whose side settled for 12th after six rounds, said: “It is for the safety of everyone, it’s a welcome idea.”
USA 7s head coach Mike Friday was hugely disappointed for all that the 2020 World Series was canceled but “we are in unprecedented times. All is us are eager and excited to get back at it.”
Sky Sports commentator Rupert Cox said: “hugely disappointing but not unexpected. Real concerns too for Series 20/21. My thoughts are with the players who invest so much and make 7s GREAT.”
Samurai Rugby: The news we were expecting but never wanted to hear. This is really going to affect Hong Kong Rugby 7s but let’s hope the Series is even bigger next year. Here’s also hoping we will see a few other 7s Tournaments popping up. We need a Sevens Fix!”
England’s Tom Mitchell: “Although this news was somewhat inevitable, the cancellation of tournaments stings for us players. And I feel for the fans. I hope all of you have other opportunities in the future to watch the brilliant game we all love!”
Japan were awarded the inaugural men’s Challenger Series title as they topped the rankings after the two completed events, claiming gold and bronze in the two rounds that took place earlier in 2020 in Chile and Uruguay. Japan will join the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021 as the sixteenth core team
@thedeadballarea: “World Rugby completely undermining their own systems here. Japan promoted despite not winning one of two tournaments (Germany won) and 5 other teams all still in contention with 1 round to go. No relegation means the increased presence on the world series to accommodate Japan”
Germany 7s head coach Damian McGrath felt a huge kick in the teeth “to aspiring nations. Got their wish of including Japan even though we were assured qualification wasn’t complete, but to relegate no one smacks of a closed shop. Not even an invitational place available to hint at the development they’re “committed to”.
Andrew Binner: “Disappointing for all those who have worked so hard, but not unexpected. Good news is that Japan will once again be a core team next season after being awarded the Challenger Series title
Stuart Maclennan: “Such a shame that the season has been concluded because of the current climate. Scotland 7s conducted themselves with aplomb throughout the 2019/20 campaign and they'll be keen to impress ahead of the new Olympic year.”
As a result of these amendments, seedings for the Tokyo Olympic Games will be adapted to include results from the 2021 Series to ensure they provide the most robust and accurate representation of current form when the Games commence in July 2021.