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World Rugby U20 Championship cancelled due to COVID-19

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

15:06 20 Mar 2020

This summer's World Rugby U20 Championship, which was to be staged in Northern Italy has been cancelled. 

The decision has been made due to the coronavirus pandemic which has hit the host region more than most.

The thirteenth edition of the tournament was due to be held in Verona, Calvisano and Viadana.

A statement from World Rugby said they made the call on the U20 Championship "following detailed consultation with the Federazione Italiana Rugby (FIR)".

Calvisano and Viadana are both situated in the Lombardy region which has been ravaged by the virus.

As of Thursday 3,405 people had been killed across Italy by COVID-19.

World Rugby have also postponed the following:

  • The men’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments in London and Paris will be postponed, provisionally until September
  • The women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Langford has been postponed until later in the year
  • The final men’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series event has been postponed until later in the year
  • Some Rugby World Cup 2021 and 2023 qualifying events have been postponed.

June's Olympic Games Repechage qualification tournament is "under review", and World Rugby will remain in close consultation with the International Olympic Committee regarding the implications on the qualifying process should the repechage be unable to be completed.

IOC President Thomas Bach confirmed on Friday that Tokyo 2020 itself will go ahead, although they are considering "various scenarios".

World Rugby have also closed their Hall of Fame in Rugby until the end of May in line with UK public health directives.

Chairman of World Rugby Bill Beaumont said, "Looking at a longer-term strategy, we are in continual dialogue with our unions, regions and the players' association relating to the wider global impact on rugby activities, including financial implications, driven by government and health authority measures to combat the spread of COVID-19.

“At this extraordinary time, we are united in our commitment to finding ways of ensuring that on-field activity can resume as soon as it is safe and possible to do so.

"To that end, the World Rugby Executive Committee is driving the implementation of a detailed action plan that will guide us through this challenging period as a sport unified across the international and domestic environments."

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Bill Beaumont Coronavirus Covid-19 Italy World Rugby World Rugby U20 Championship

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