England, Scotland and Wales will field joint men’s and women’s Britain teams from the 2022-23 World Rugby Sevens Series with a view to improving their Olympic prospects, their respective governing bodies said on Wednesday.
Rugby sevens made its Olympic debut in Rio in 2016 and returned in Tokyo last year, with Britain’s men’s team winning silver in the inaugural edition, while the women’s team finished fourth on both occasions.
“This is a seminal day for sevens, it is the right way forward, giving Team GB a real opportunity to go to the Olympic games with the right preparation,” Rugby Football Union (RFU) director of performance Conor O’Shea said.
“We will be working hard now to finalise the structures to support GB so we are ready to start the 22-23 World Sevens Series with a bang, moving towards Paris 2024 and beyond.”
The bodies added that the move has been ratified and mandated by World Rugby. The men’s 2022-23 series begins with a round of fixtures in Hong Kong between Nov. 4-6, while the women’s series kicks off in Dubai in December.