They claim an e-mail put pressure on them to let their youngsters play Parents of children due to take part in the cancelled rugby Mini Sevens this weekend are outraged by an e-mail from the chairman of the junior tournament putting pressure on clubs to get their members to play regardless of health risks. 'If you or a parent decides to stop his child attending, then that child's absence will affect his or her team and that team will affect your club,' wrote Colin Stagg, chairman of the Hong Kong Mini Rugby Football Union, in an e-mail to chairmen of mini rugby clubs on Wednesday, before the event was cancelled yesterday. More than 2,000 youngsters aged five to 12 play the game. About 1,200 had been due to take part in curtain-raiser matches on each of the three days of the Sevens. 'But it doesn't stop there,' Mr Stagg's e-mail continued, 'our club will then affect the other clubs you are scheduled to play, and the teams in those clubs and finally the children in those teams who have been waiting all year for this event. So in the end it is the other children who suffer.' Mark Erder, whose sons Jake, six, and Luke, 11, play for Hong Kong University Sandy Bay, was furious. 'I'm angry at the arm-twisting and tone of this note. We as parents are all struggling with this decision. We don't need to be hectored and lectured.' Lesley Lewis from Pokfulam, whose son Sam, 11, plays mini rugby for the Hong Kong Football Club, said she was appalled at the e-mail. 'This is an epidemic. This man should stand back and question his motives,' she said. When told of the upset his e-mail had caused, Mr Stagg replied: 'I understand that the tone and content has caused some concern. 'In essence I was trying to remind everyone of what would happen if they didn't attend. However, the situation is changing so rapidly that my e-mail of yesterday reads differently than was intended, given the latest news.' He said he sympathised with any parent who decided to withdraw their child from the event.