Great Britain must qualify for rugby sevens competition at Rio 2016
GREAT Britain will have to qualify for the rugby sevens at the 2016 Olympics as a separate entity, rather than rely on performances from the home nations.
STAR TURN: Former Sevens World Player of the Year Ollie Phillips could be a star turn for the Great Britain sevens team at Rio 2016, but they'll have to qualify first (Getty Images)
In instances such as with hockey or football one of the home nations has secured Olympic qualification on behalf of Great Britain before the separate countries unite under the Union Jack.
It is at present not known what form the Great Britain team will take and discussions are ongoing between the separate rugby unions.
But world governing body the International Rugby Board today confirmed that Great Britain will have to make sure of their place in their own right.
"There will be a Great Britain team that will have to qualify for the Olympics as Great Britain," said Mark Egan, the IRB's head of development and performance.
"At the moment the unions themselves are discussing it in terms of how they see it working for them. It needs to be a solution that is right for rugby."
It's likely Great Britain would enter into a European qualification competition which would produce a percentage of the sides for the 12-team tournament which makes its Olympic debut in Rio.