New Zealand crowned Sevens Series champions as season is called off

Ross Houston
July 2, 2020

South Africa finished 11 points back in second place with 2019 champions and Olympic gold medallists Fiji third.

The remainder of this year's World Rugby Sevens Series has been cancelled over the coronavirus, the sport's governing body said yesterday, with the flagship Hong Kong tournament among five events called off.

New Zealand Sevens coach Clark Laidlaw has praised Caleb Clarke for his influential role in securing them the World Series title and believes the star wing can inspire the team to more success in future.

"It is very disappointing for players and our fans who were looking up to the remaining four legs but it is important to note that the health and well-being of the rugby community and wider society has to be given priority", said the KCB winger.

The Paris, London, Singapore and Hong Kong 7s in September and October have been cancelled.

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 cancelled due to the ongoing and dynamic global nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the 2020 Series to an early conclusion.

This was them men's maiden campaign on the World Series.

Japan, the hosts of last year's Rugby World Cup, have been awarded a place on the men's Sevens Series for 2021 after finishing first and third in the two completed events on this year's calendar.

It is the 13th title for the New Zealand men, who had won three of six tournaments played this season, with titles in Cape Town, Hamilton and Vancouver. I am hoping quite a few of the guys will get picked up in Mitre 10 squads and they want to get out there and play, ' Laidlaw said.

In the final tournament before lockdown, in Vancouver, New Zealand bounced back with their third title of the season, while the Blitzboks came fourth, which opened the lead to double figures again. Most of the squad were rolling around in the mud playing club rugby last weekend and it is important we give back to our communities at this hard time.

The national sevens teams are now on leave with many players involved in club rugby before aiming for selection in the Mitre 10 Cup and Farah Palmer Cup competitions.

"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", World Rugby said.

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