International Rugby
Miller upbeat on Team GB formation
ESPNscrum Staff
April 6, 2011
Rugby World Cup Limited managing director Mike Miller, Rguby World Cup, October 8, 2007
Mike Miller © Getty Images

International Rugby Board chief executive Mike Miller is confident that an agreement will be reached on the composition of the proposed Great Britain Sevens side for the 2016 Olympics by the end of the year.

Forming a Team GB for the men's soccer event for next year's Olympics in London is proving a hugely contentious and divisive issue amongst the relevant football associations. However, Miller believes that it will be far easier for the home unions to put together a squad for Rio.

"We don't have the same issues that other sports have over forming a Great Britain team," he said. "We already have a template in the British & 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.

"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."

Meanwhile, IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset believes that rugby is already reaping the benefits of the International Olympic Committte's decision to grant Sevens a place in the 2016 Games, with a major new report revealing a 19% increase in global participation since the 2007 World Cup.

"We are noticing the boost that Olympic Games inclusion has given rugby," the Frenchman said. "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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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