Britain opens Rio sevens door to 15-man code

Players from the 15-man code will be eligible for Britain’s rugby sevens squad at the 2016 Olympics although time is short for any of them to stake a claim, officials said.

The news is the latest twist in a long and complex story that began when England were selected to represent Britain in qualifying for the Rio Games but then had to find a way to pick a team from a sport where there is no united side and England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland play against each other.

Britain’s Olympic place in August was secured by England’s performances on the World Sevens circuit last year.

Players from the other countries will also be considered but no united team has been allowed to compete on the circuit.

Officials said that men’s coach Simon Amor would name a training squad of 20 to 25 at the start of May with the final 12 for both the men and women announced in mid-July.

World Rugby, the sport’s governing body, would be delighted to see some of the biggest names from the 15-man game playing in Rio as sevens makes its Olympic debut.

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