WALES will join forces with England and Scotland to field a Great Britain side ahead of next year's Olympics.

The Rugby Football Union, Welsh Rugby Union and Scottish Rugby Union have confirmed an arrangement that means GB men's and women's teams will compete in the HSBC World Sevens Series before and after next summer's delayed Tokyo Games.

England, Wales and Scotland would normally compete separately on the world series stage.

The WRU still hope to field sides in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The support is via a commercial partnership with the National Lottery and it is a considerable lift for the sevens game in Britain, given uncertainty this year caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The GB coaching structure has also been announced, with Charlie Hayter taking a team leader role and working as an assistant coach across men's and women's programmes.

Former England and USA assistant Tony Roques takes on the men's head coach job, with Scott Forrest remaining in charge of the women's squad.

And James Rodwell, who has made more international sevens appearances than any other player and been part of England's coaching team since 2018, will have an assistant role with men's and women's squads.

WRU operations director and Team GB board director Julie Paterson said: "This is a great example of the Home Unions coming together for the betterment of the game.

"A lot of hard work has been put in to make this possible, and the level of collaboration from the three Unions and our commercial partners has been excellent.

"The initiative will no doubt provide Team GB with the best chance of success in Tokyo and on the World Series."

Wales' men have struggled in the World Series in recent seasons and narrowly avoided relegation in 2019 before finishing 15th when the campaign was ended early because of the pandemic earlier this year.

Former Dragons boss Dean Edwards had been coaching the team but it was suspended in August because of the financial impact of coronavirus.

Three Welsh players featured at the Rio Olympics with Jasmine Joyce in the women's squad and Brynmawr's Sam Cross and Scarlets flanker James Davies helping the men win silver.