The new IRB World Sevens series kicks off on Australia's Gold Coast next month, with the qualification of Portugal, Canada and Spain increasing the number of core teams from 12 to 15.
At the end of the 2012/2013 season, promotion and relegation will come into effect and this is sure to add to the competitive nature of the lauable series.
The Hong Kong Sevens in March will feature an increase from 24 to 28 participating teams, with the 15 core countries being joined by the Asian Seven series champions in the battle for this prestigious title.
To borrow from IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset: "As we enter the four-year Olympic cycle for rugby sevens and build towards Rio 2016, it is important that the opportunity exists for all nations to progress to core team status if they are good enough."
We've all just marvelled at the breathtaking brilliance of the London Games and while it's full steam ahead for Rio and the introduction of Sevens on the biggest sporting stage of all, not a dicky-bird has been heard from Lansdowne Road.
The silence is truly deafening.