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Schools' rugby and hockey hit by coronavirus

By Laura Taylor, Mar 16 2020 07:33PM

Schools’ rugby and hockey are the latest sports to be hit by the coronavirus.

The prestigious Rosslyn Park National Schools Sevens - widely-acknowledged as the world’s largest schools’ rugby tournament and due to take place over five days next week – has been cancelled.

This week’s U18 and U15 national finals at Saracens’ Allianz Park and Twickenham on March 17 and 19 have also been postponed.

England Hockey quickly rugby’s lead by suspending this week’s blue riband U18 boys’ and girls’ finals at Lee Valley Hockey Centre on March 19 and the U14 and U16 boys finals next week.

A spokesman for the Rosslyn Park organisers said: “We regret to announce that due to the recent developments in the situation concerning the novel coronavirus COVID-19, we have had to make the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools 7s tournament.

“In recent weeks Rosslyn Park has done everything in our power to make the tournament happen. However in light of the current COVID-19 crisis, it is now the advice of our medical advisers, who have been in constant contact with Public Health England, that we cancel the event.

“With almost 10,000 children from nearly 1,000 schools due to take part in the tournament, our priority is the safety and well-being of the participants and spectators.

“Thank you for your understanding. We are determined that the 2021 event will be our best ever and look forward to welcoming you all.”