Coronavirus: Hong Kong Sevens to be postponed

World Rugby unveils inaugural women's HSBC Sevens Challenger Series event

Springbok Women's Sevens ecstatic about Challenger Tournament

The Hong Kong sevens, which arguably popularized and globalized the shortened version of rugby in the 1990s and is considered the marquee stop on the 10-tournament circuit, was due to be held from April 3-5.

The outbreak has brought China to a standstill as businesses remain closed and workers stay home.

In addition to the human cost, the outbreak and rapid spread of the coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the sporting calendar in large parts of Asia with Shanghai's Chinese Grand Prix, scheduled for April, the latest event to be postponed.

The Hong Kong tournament was hosting a joint Sevens Series competition for both men and women for the first time this year as World Rugby expanded the women's circuit from six tournaments to eight.

South Africa was selected as host following the ground-breaking women's World Rugby High Performance Academy which took place at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport in May 2019 and the recent success of having the Springbok Women's Sevens team play as an invitational team at the HSBC Cape Town Sevens in December.

'This is great news for us and what a pleasure for SA Rugby to be able to host this event in Stellenbosch, Delport said after World Rugby made the announcement on Tuesday.

Fiji is the defending champion of the Hong Kong tournament.

The coronavirus has also forced the cancellation of the Hong Kong marathon while the local Premier League football has been on hold since last month.

"We note that there are no government travel restrictions in place for Hong Kong and that the virus has now been detected in as many as 17 different nations worldwide", he said.

Hong Kong has 50 cases and one death; Singapore 50 cases.

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