Rugby: SportSG working towards October date for Singapore Sevens

The tournament was initially planned for April before it was pushed back due to the pandemic.
The tournament was initially planned for April before it was pushed back due to the pandemic.PHOTO: SINGAPORE SPORTS HUB

SINGAPORE - Sport Singapore (SportSG) is working with its partners towards the Oct 29-30 date for the HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens, the national agency told The Straits Times on Friday (June 4).

A SportSG spokesman said: "Recognising the fluidity of the Covid-19 situation around the world and taking into account the prevailing national posture and safe management measures, we will share more details at an appropriate time.

"Our decision, together with World Rugby, will primarily be based on the principles of safety for the participating teams, staff, contractors and spectators, if permitted, and the overall viability of the event."

The tournament was initially planned for April before it was pushed back due to the pandemic. The Singapore leg will be followed by Hong Kong (Nov 5-7), Dubai (Dec 3-4) and the climax in Cape Town (Dec 10-12).

Last year's Singapore edition was cancelled due to the Covid-19 crisis. The previous year, the event featured 16 international teams and 57,000 fans to the National Stadium.

It is one of several marquee events the Republic hosts annually, including football's International Champions Cup (ICC), the HSBC Women's World Championship, and the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix.

The cancellation of the night race, for the second straight year, was announced on Friday night. It was scheduled for Oct 1-3.

Mixed martial arts promotion One Championship postponed its May 28 Empower event at the Indoor Stadium, while the June 1-6 Singapore Badminton Open, the final qualifier for the Tokyo Olympics, was canned.

Other high profile events in Singapore that have been shelved include the Shangri-La Dialogue and the World Economic Forum's special annual meeting in August.

The SportSG spokesman noted how events organisers have to be more agile and adaptable in a Covid-19 world and said: "In the case of the Rugby Sevens, having cross-country conversations will also spur collective learning for host cities that organise the series in succession because there is an inter-dependency between the safety measures in each.

"We thank the rugby community and fans for their continued support and patience. We are committed to honour 2020 tickets, should the event be able to proceed as planned in October."