Beijing 7s cancelled
March 28, 2003

The International Rugby Board have cancelled the Beijing leg of the IRB Sevens because of the current outbreak of the SARS virus.

The tournament was scheduled to be played on April 5-6 but the IRB have followed medical advice by cancelling the event.

The IRB consulted with the World Health Organisation, who advised that the possibility of the transmission of SARS via international flights could not be ruled out.

Several people have died of the virus around the world, with most of the fatalities occurring in Asia.

"This decision has not been taken lightly, particularly in view of Beijing's importance in the worldwide development of rugby," IRB chief executive Mike Miller told the www.nzoom.co.nz website.

"The Chinese Rugby Union have worked tirelessly to stage this event and we greatly appreciate their efforts, however the welfare of the players is paramount and as a responsible governing body this was the only choice open to us, however regrettable it may be."

Despite the decision to drop the Beijing event, the IRB have not cancelled the Hong Kong Sevens this weekend.

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