•New Zealand men and women’s teams were declared 2019-2020 champions by virtue of having been top of the standings before the pandemic interrupted the series.
•Former Head coach-cum-technical director, Paul Feeney, tried to blood the old players with the new but the move failed to fire the team to consistency on the circuit.
Shujaa finished up 12th on the log after World Rugby cancelled the remaining four legs of the World Sevens Series due to coronavirus pandemic.
New Zealand men and women’s teams were declared 2019-2020 champions by virtue of having been top of the standings before the pandemic interrupted the series.
The men’s series had covered six of the 10 men’s rounds while the men had successfully completed five of the eight rounds.
Kenya had mixed season in the World Sevens Series, accumulating a paltry 36 points from the six tournaments played. They reached two Main Cup quarter-finals but failed to impress despite the return of senior Sevens’ stalwarts in the team.
Former Head coach-cum-technical director, Paul Feeney, tried to blood the old players with the new but the move failed to fire the team to consistency on the circuit. The New Zealand-born coach had set a target of being in the top eight come the end of the season.
“Following a comprehensive consultation process, the remaining rounds of the women and men’s series 2020 in Langford, London, Paris, Singapore and Hong Kong have been cancelled due to the dynamic global nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, bringing the 2020 Series to an early conclusion,” said World Rugby statement in part.
“The decision follows detailed and constructive dialogue with the host and participating unions and has been taken with the health and wellbeing of the rugby community and the wider public as top priority and in line with the relevant national government and public health authority advice,” the statement added.
Olympic champions Australia finished second in the women’s series with Canada in third while 2018 champions South Africa took second spot in the men’s category with 2019 Series champions Fiji completing the podium. According to WR, there will be no relegation from the women or men’s series in 2020.
The HSBC World Rugby Challenger Series final events (men and women) will also not take place in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Challenger Series was launched by WR this year to boost rugby Sevens’ development across the globe, particularly in emerging nations and this objective remains a key priority, providing a promotion pathway into the Sevens Series.
Japan were awarded the inaugural men’s Challenger Series title as they topped the rankings after two completed events. They claimed 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.
There will be no promotion to the women’s Series this year as the inaugural Challenger Series event originally scheduled for March 28-29 in Stellenbosch, South Africa was not able to take place.
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.
WR chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont said: “While it is very disappointing for players, fans, organisers and everyone involved to have to cancel these events due to Covid-19, the health and wellbeing of the rugby community and wider society remains the number one priority.”