New Zealand have been crowned World Rugby Sevens Series men's and women's champions ©Getty Images

New Zealand have been crowned men's and women's champions for the 2020 edition of the World Rugby Sevens Series after the competition was concluded early due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The five remaining rounds of the tournament have now all been cancelled, bringing the season to an end.

Langford in Canada, London, Paris, Singapore and Hong Kong were all hoped to stage events at a later date, but World Rugby has deemed that unlikely to be possible following discussions with hosts and given the global health crisis.

The women's competition ends after five of the eight intended rounds, while the men's tournament concludes after six of 10 legs.

New Zealand's women's team had won four of the five legs so far, picking up a bronze in the season opener in Glendale in the United States.

The men's team won three events and recorded second- and third-place finishes to be a comfortable 11 points ahead of runners-up South Africa.

Olympic champions Fiji finish third in the men's standings, two points above Australia. 

In the women's event, Olympic champions Australia came second and Canada third.

New Zealand won the women's title for a sixth time and second in a row ©Getty Images
New Zealand won the women's title for a sixth time and second in a row ©Getty Images

There is to be no relegation this year following the premature end to the season, but Japan's men are to be promoted after ending top of the Challenger Series.

They will now be the 16th core team in the Sevens Series for 2021, but there is no women's promotion as the sole Challenger Series event could not take place.

Seeding for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics will also be adapted to include results from 2021 in light of the disruption.

"While it is very disappointing for players, fans, organisers and everyone involved to have to cancel these events due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the health and wellbeing of the rugby community and wider society remains the number one priority," said World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont.

"These difficult decisions have been taken following detailed consultation with our union partners and in line with advice from the various government and public health agencies across the world, given the global nature of HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

"Rugby sevens is a key driver of global growth of our sport, particularly in emerging nations, and it firmly remains a top priority for our organisation.

"As we begin to see light at the end of the tunnel, 2021 has potential to be a very exciting year for rugby sevens with the Tokyo Olympic Games on the horizon.

"Congratulations to New Zealand on being awarded both the women's and men's Series titles following their outstanding and consistent performances prior to the onset of the pandemic, and to Japan for being crowned champions of the inaugural Challenger Series and securing a core place on the World Rugby Sevens Series 2021."

Ticket holders for the cancelled World Rugby Sevens Series 2020 events are advised to contact event organisers for refund information, while World Rugby said further details on the 2021 competition will be published in due course.