THE Welsh Rugby Union announced their sevens programme is “ceasing to operate for the foreseeable future” due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The governing body took the difficult decision due to the current financial implications emerging as a result of Covid-19, which represents a significant blow for the discipline going forward.

The disruption to the World Rugby Sevens Series thanks to current travel complications has further increased concerns about the future of the sevens game, which the WRU has now deemed “unsustainable” in the current climate.

Indigo Group Premiership side RGC have been well represented in the sevens game in recent years, with Afon Bagshaw earning a contract after emerging into the role of vice-captain.

Former Gogs’ Academy star Tom Williams is another who made his presence felt with the squad at prestigious competitions such as the World Cup.

Ryan Jones, WRU performance director, said: “It’s an extremely regrettable situation we find ourselves in, and one that is being felt across the world inside and outside the context of sport.

“I’ve seen first-hand how much the sevens players and staff have put their heart and soul into the programme, which has made reaching this outcome all the more difficult.

“Unfortunately, while we have seen the return of regional rugby in its current restricted form, it’s unlikely the sevens programme would be preparing for any top-level competition until at least April of next year.

“The realities of a reduced funding situation have made this impossible for us to sustain.”