World Rugby is said to be facing a possible rebellion by its World Series Sevens teams after implementing radical changes to the format of the tournament. The men’s teams are particularly unhappy with losing looming tournament Quarterfinals in Hamilton and Sydney, fearing it will affect their hopes of qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. There are rumours that they may well take their concerns to the International Court of Sport Arbitration.
The first two legs of the World Series 2019-20 took place in Dubai and Cape Town and extended over three days. Both men’s and women’s teams took part. But the next two events, also involving both the men’s and women’s squads, sees the competitions streamlined to just two days.
The men’s Quarter-Finals will be dropped in a ruthless system that sees the four Group Winners advancing directly through to the Semi-Finals and the losing teams dropping out of running for the cup immediately. The winners of the three women’s pools will be joined by the team that places second in the Final Four.
An unnamed International Sevens coach has reportedly said that players and instructors alike are angry. They went on to explain that these changes will negatively affect the Olympic draw and also jeopardise the game’s integrity and the enjoyment of play. Further objections are being considered.
The International Rugby Players Association is aware of the levels of dissatisfaction and this could go as far as the CAS and even the Olympics Committee.
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