A World Rugby spokesman has said there will be no reversal on the decision to scrap the quarter-final stage from the Hamilton and Sydney Sevens tournaments.

There has been a serious backlash after format changes were confirmed for the next two legs of the World Rugby Sevens Series, which will see the winners of the four pools in New Zealand and Australia progress straight to the semi-finals.

The changes come partly in order to accommodate women’s tournaments, with the recent Cape Town Sevens held over three days, and not two, because of the addition of a women’s tournament. But this will not be the case in Hamilton and Sydney.

Some reports have even suggested some unhappy coaches and players are considering taking their grievances to the International Court of Sport Arbitration (CAS) to try and get the move overturned.

However, a World Rugby spokesman told RugbyPass about the reasoning behind the decision: ‘The situation remains that quarter-finals will not take place in Hamilton and Sydney. This was discussed last year and we are trying to deliver more men’s and women’s events to create greater synergy. We want to create more opportunities for the women’s game as well and it is a fine balance.’

The Hamilton sevens will take place on 25-26 January followed by the event in Sydney the week after.

SA Rugby Magazine

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