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Dubai, Cape Town rounds of 2021 Sevens Series cancelled due to pandemic

Last updated 9 days ago | By Reuters

Kenya's Jeff Oluoch (R) is tackled by USA's Martin Iosefo (C) during the HSBC Paris Sevens Series rugby quarter-finals match between Kenya and USA, at the Stade Jean Bouin in Paris on June 2, 2019. [Photo by Lucas BARIOULET / AFP]

The Dubai and Cape Town rounds of the 2021 World Sevens Series have been scrapped due to the COVID-19 pandemic, World Rugby said on Wednesday.

The global governing body said it would continue to focus on delivering the remainder of the 2021 series, with a working group formed to review contingency plans and evaluate preparations for the sport's safe return.

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The Dubai and Cape Town rounds had been scheduled for Nov. 26-28 and Dec. 4-6 this year.

"After a comprehensive consultation process ... it has been decided that the combined men's and women's Dubai and Cape Town rounds ... will not take place...," organisers said in a statement.

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"The decisions were taken in line with relevant government and international public health authority advice and with the health and wellbeing of the rugby community and the wider public taking precedence.

"Both hosts are due to return to a full series schedule beyond this season."

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New Zealand were awarded the men's and women's World Sevens Series titles after World Rugby cancelled the rest of the 2020 season last month because of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Tournaments in London, Paris, Singapore and Hong Kong were cancelled on the men's tour, while the women's circuit lost rounds in the United States, Paris and Hong Kong.

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