Great Britain's Ollie Lindsay-Hague runs with the ball
Great Britain’s men and women both missed out on medals in the bronze match at Tokyo 2020

England, Scotland and Wales will once again combine to form Great Britain men’s and women’s teams for the 2023 World Sevens Series.

A statement from the three unions described a “new era” and explained teams would separate for Commonwealth Games and Sevens World Cups.

Coaches and playing squads have not yet been confirmed.

The GB men’s side will begin their campaign in Hong Kong on 4 November 2022, while the women start in Dubai on 2 December.

England players lost their central contracts because of the financial impact of Covid-19 in August 2020, throwing their Olympic preparations into chaos.

After a fourth-place finish in Tokyo, player Dan Bibby described future plans for the programme as “a joke”.

Conor O’Shea, performance director for England’s Rugby Football Union, said the GB team “enables us all to give certainty to staff and players as to the future of the programme”.

The three unions and World Rugby are discussing “further playing opportunities” for the England, Scotland and Wales teams.

Scottish Rugby’s director of high performance Jim Mallinder said the GB team is an “exciting development”, adding: “We remain fully committed to a Scotland 7s programme to develop our players and coaches.”

Welsh Rugby Union performance director Nigel Walker said: “We will maintain male and female sevens programmes in Wales to develop players and coaches and make sure there is a pipeline of talent.”

Great Britain’s men secured silver at Rio 2016, while the women were fourth in both Rio and Tokyo.

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