Remaining tournaments were called off, meaning table-toppers get the title

New Zealand men and women named sevens champions after season cancelled

World Rugby today anounced that the All Blacks and Black Ferns sevens sides have been handed the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series titles for 2020.

The remaining rounds of the women’s and men’s circuits in Langford, London, Paris, Singapore and Hong Kong have been cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, meaning that the teams at the top of the men’s and women’s tables – both New Zealand sides – took the glory. Five of the eight women’s rounds and six of the ten men’s rounds had been completed before the global crisis hit.

The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series men’s and women’s final events will also not take place in 2020. Japan have been 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.

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This means Japan will join the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021 as the 16th core team, though there is some unrest over the decision to promote the upcoming Olympic hosts while no one else drops out.

There will also be no promotion to the women’s Series this year as the inaugural Challenger Series event originally scheduled for 28-29 March in Stellenbosch, South Africa, was not able to take place.

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World Rugby say that 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.”

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