No chance of a Team GB in rugby sevens at Rio after IOC and IRB ruling states only one of England, Wales or Scotland can represent Britain

Players will not be allowed to be mixed to form a genuine Team GB side ruling out the possibility of a British and Irish Lions-style sevens side

With rugby set to make a return to the summer Olympic Games at Rio 2016, fans were beginning to look forward to the possibility of a British and Irish Lions style (minus the Republic of Ireland when it comes to the Games) team taking on New Zealand, South Africa, Fiji and the likes in the seven-man game. But any of those hopes have been dashed by a joint announcement between the International Olympic Committee and the International Rugby Board.

Both England and Wales have competed at the highest level on the International Sevens Series in recent years, while Scotland have also been a mainstay on the global programme that runs throughout the regular season.

But as with the Team GB football team that competed at London 2012, problems have immediately arisen over a united team that would see the players join together to create a British force.

A statement released by the IOC and IRB to clarify the qualification process read: “With regard to the qualification process for Great Britain, if more than one team from England, Scotland and Wales qualify to participate as core teams in the 2014/15 IRB Men’s Sevens World Series, then by no later than 30 June, 2014 the BOA must designate the lead team which solely will be able to obtain qualification for Great Britain to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”

The ruling means that either England, Wales of Scotland would appear as a Great Britain side, despite the fact that the squad’s players would all hail from the same country, for both the male and female sides.

The build-up to London 2012 was dominated by heated debate over how a British football side could be formed given that the players are fierce rivals when facing each other for one of the four home countries.

However, even though that rivalry is replicated – even surpassed – on the fields of Twickenham, the Millennium Stadium, Murrayfield and the Aviva Stadium, the monumental success of last summer’s British and Irish Lions tour of Australia suggests that there would be no issue in forming a side to compete at Rio 2016.

And the prospect would certainly attract British fans to South America for the Games, with the likes of Dan Norton, Tom Mitchell, Rhys Jones and Colin Gregor teaming up to take on the world’s best.

The nations will compete individually at this summer’s Commonwealth Games, but will have to go under the guise of Team GB in two years’ time should they wish compete. However, it appears this latest announcement has robbed any chance of a real Team GB anyway.

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Stiller as Derek Zoolander in the leaked trailer for Zoolander 2
film
Sport
footballArsenal take the Community Shield thanks to a sensational strike from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Arts and Entertainment
Gemma Chan as synth Anita in Humans
film
News
Keeping it friendly: Tom Cruise on ‘The Daily Show’ with Jon Stewart
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ensemble cast: Jamie McCartney with ‘The Great Wall of Vagina’
artBritish artist Jamie McCartney explains a work that is designed to put women's minds at rest
News
Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen