This year's Hong Kong Sevens has been postponed, alongside the event in Singapore ©Getty Images

Both the Hong Kong Sevens and Singapore Sevens have been postponed due to coronavirus, World Rugby confirmed today. 

The world governing body announced that they hoped the events would move from April to October.

It followed speculation that organisers had opted to switch both competitions because of public health fears.

Last month, officials in Hong Kong said they had "no plans" to cancel the event which is part of both the World Rugby Sevens Series and the World Rugby Women's Sevens Series.

It is one of the most famous legs on the circuits and takes place at Hong Kong Stadium.

The Singapore event at National Stadium is only part of the men's series.

"World Rugby, the Hong Kong Rugby Union and Sport Singapore have taken the decision to reschedule the Hong Kong and Singapore rounds of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2020 in response to continued health concerns relating to the novel coronavirus outbreak," World Rugby said.

"The health and safety of our players, fans and everyone working on the event is always our highest priority. 

"This prudent decision has been taken in order to help protect the global rugby community and the wider public and was taken based on the World Health Organization (WHO) and relevant public authority travel and health guidelines.

"The decision is fully supported by stakeholders, including unions and commercial partners."

The Hong Kong Sevens, originally scheduled for between April 3 and 5, will now take place between October 16 and 18.

Organisers had initially said there were no plans to postpone the Hong Kong Sevens ©Getty Images
Organisers had initially said there were no plans to postpone the Hong Kong Sevens ©Getty Images

Competition is Singapore has been moved from April 11 and 12 to October 10 and 11.

Both events will now be the last two tournaments of the season, which had been due to finish before the Olympic Games in Tokyo in August. 

Tickets for the competitions will be honoured and refunds provided if fans are unable to attend.

Events will also take place as planned in Hong Kong and Singapore in April 2021 as part of next season.

Other sporting events to have been affected by coronavirus include the Hong Kong Marathon, which was cancelled.

Preparations for competitions in the city have also been impacted by long-running protests against the Government.

In 2003, the Hong Kong Sevens took place despite the outbreak of the SARS virus, although two teams did pull out.

Since originating in Chinese city Wuhan, there have now been more than 60,000 cases of coronavirus.

The death count is more than 1,300 with the vast majority of infected people in China.

A group of 28 countries and territories are affected in all, with the WHO declaring a global emergency.