IRB hopeful of team GB confirmation
The International Rugby Board hope an agreement on the composition of a Great Britain sevens team will be struck by the end of the year.
The home unions are discussing the options for a side to represent the UK in qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Mike Miller, the IRB's chief executive, insists it is up to the unions to determine the best possible format.
"We don't have the same issues that other sports have over forming a Great Britain team," said Miller. "We already have a template in the British and Irish Lions. They're used to playing together. We've said to the unions this is your decision on how you want to do it, you come up with a proposal and as long as it's fair we'll be happy with what you come up with it."
He added: "They've been discussing a number of different ways of doing it - one country represents all of them, everyone has 25% of the players, or just pick the best players wherever they come from.
"We hope they'll have it sorted out by the end of the year. The unions work together very well."
The IRB have announced the findings of a major report that show a 19% increase in global participation since the 2007 World Cup.
In Africa and South America significant increases of 33% and 22% respectively have occurred.
While participation figures are highest in Europe, non-traditional playing nations in Eastern Europe have also emerged, contributing to the 22% increase seen across the continent as a whole.
The inclusion of sevens in the Olympic Games, event hosting strategies and IRB programmes and investment are given as the reasons for the increase.
"We are noticing the boost that Olympic Games inclusion has given rugby," said IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset. "We are excited by the opportunities that are now being presented to our member unions through National Olympic Committees as we count down to Rio 2016."