World Rugby delays sevens events in Vancouver and Los Angeles

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Vancouver’s stop on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series is being delayed two months due to the pandemic.

The HSBC Canada Sevens, originally slated for Feb. 26-27 at B.C. Place Stadium has been pushed back to April 16-17, “to provide the best opportunity to ensure the safety of fans, athletes, officials and staff.”

“The decision to reschedule is based on the unfolding COVID-19 conditions in B.C., and has been made with consideration for the health and welfare of players, fans, staff and wider society,” Jamie Levchuk, Rugby Canada’s managing director of business operations, said in a statement.

“Should the COVID-19 pandemic continue as a safety concern for longer than anticipated, we will work with World Rugby and stakeholders to hold the 2022 HSBC Canada Sevens at a time when the conditions are right.”

Tickets already purchased will automatically transfer to the new April dates, Rugby Canada said.

The Los Angeles event, scheduled for March 5-6, will move to Aug. 27-28 and serve as the finale of the men’s season.

The World Series grounded to a halt in March 2020 due to COVID-19 after the Canadian men won bronze at the Canada Sevens in Vancouver. A truncated 2021 season featured just two events, in Vancouver and Edmonton, last September with several teams unable to travel.

The 2022 World Series season kicked off in late November in Dubai with the first of two events for both men and women. Teams are currently in Spain both men’s and women’s competition that starts Friday in Malaga.

Several teams, including New Zealand, have been unable to take part because of pandemic-related restrictions.

Rugby Canada says a women’s sevens event set to start April 30 in Langford, B.C., is still on schedule.

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