England, Scotland and Wales to form combined GB Sevens for Tokyo Olympics

GB Sevens will be part of the Tokyo Olympics
GB Sevens will be part of the Tokyo Olympics
©Steve Haag

England, Wales and Scotland will combine for a GB Sevens team for the 2021 Olympics scheduled to be played in Tokyo.

The decision follows after the three boards have secured commercial partnership with the National Lottery.

The men and women's GB sevens team will take part in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series leading to the Olympics and will continue to be part of the season post the event in Tokyo as well.

Charlie Hayter has been assigned the team leader while also being an assistant coach across both men’s and women’s programmes. Scott Forrest and Tony Roques will be the head coach of women's and men's sides respectively.

James Rodwell, who is the most capped Sevens player will assist both the men's and women's programmes.

“We’re delighted to have secured this partnership with The National Lottery and thank National Lottery players. This is a great opportunity for GB Sevens and vital preparation ahead of next summer’s Olympic Games," said RFU Performance Director Conor O'Shea.

"We’re very grateful to the individual Unions and their partners for their co-operation, understanding and continued support. We know the current uncertain circumstances mean there will likely be challenges along the way but we’re very much looking forward to developing our plans further.”

“This is a great example of the Home Unions coming together for the betterment of the game," said WRU Operations Director and Team GB Board Director Julie Paterson.

"A lot of hard work has been put in to make this possible, and the level of collaboration from the three Unions and our commercial partners has been excellent. The initiative will no doubt provide Team GB with the best chance of success in Tokyo and on the World Series.”

Scottish Rugby Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder believes the experience will greatly aid the players.

“The opportunity for our players to be able to put their hands up for potential Olympic selection is something we very much welcome, as part of a GB Sevens squad," he said.

"It is our intention that beyond this season, both of our Scotland 7s programmes, remain unaffected by this development and very much look forward to qualifying for and sending our strongest squads to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.”