Sevens rugby to return to Kallang in April

DUBLIN • The HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens will return in April, as the series kicks off with a pair of men's and women's rounds in Dubai next month, according to the schedule announced by World Rugby yesterday.

This year's event in the Republic had been pencilled in for Oct 29-30 but was cancelled for the second year in a row due to Covid-19.

Among the reasons cited for the cancellation were global travel restrictions, quarantine protocols in Singapore and participating countries, as well as prevailing safe management measures on event days.

Sport Singapore said last month it remains committed to bringing back the tournament next April "subject to the improvement of the global pandemic situation".

The new dates for the Singapore leg are April 9-10.

Sydney, Australia and Hamilton, New Zealand will not host the series next year due to logistical challenges associated with the pandemic, World Rugby added.

Instead, Spain will play host for the first time with men's and women's events scheduled in Malaga and Seville from Jan 21-23 and Jan 28-30.

Toulouse in France will also welcome teams in May next year.

The series will have 10 men's and seven women's rounds over six months. The first round in Dubai will be behind closed doors from Nov 26-27 followed by another on Dec 3-4 with fans in attendance at The Sevens Stadium.

"A lot of hard work has gone on behind the scenes to ensure we can announce a full series schedule today," World Rugby chief executive Alan Gilpin said.

"We thank HSBC, the host organisations, unions, commercial and broadcast partners for their unwavering support and spirit of collaboration as we navigate the challenges of the global Covid-19 pandemic together.

"As ever, the health and welfare of players, fans and wider society continues to be our primary concern."

The men's series will also have a North American round in Vancouver (Feb 26-27) and Los Angeles (March 5-6) before moving to Asia, where Hong Kong will host a men's and women's event (April 1-3) after a gap of two years. That will be followed by the men's event in Singapore.

Fans will be able to catch a new men's series team, Japan, in action after their promotion from the 2020 Challenger Series.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2021, with the headline 'Sevens rugby to return to Kallang in April'. Subscribe