If ever proof was needed that the Scottish Rugby Union’s decision to merge the Scotland Sevens into a Team GB was a huge error of judgement it came at the weekend when Australia emerged as winner of the HSBC World Sevens Series.

It was an absolutely dramatic ending to the 2022 Series which actually began in November last year. Australia clinched their first ever title by beating Samoa to secure the bronze medal in Los Angeles, and I have to say the quality of the Australian play was sublime at times. Though they only won gold at one event, London, the consistency of Australia as the only team to reach every one of the nine quarter-finals meant that they beat South Africa – winners of the first four tournaments in the season – by just two points with Fiji, who lost the gold medal match in LA to New Zealand, a further two points away in third. In the Women’s tournament, Australia made it a memorable double by winning the series back in May, and thus Australia earned the reward for their union’s investment in Sevens.

Coach John Manenti was about the only one who didn’t expect Australia to do very well in both the Men’s and Women’s Series.

"It is quite surreal to be honest," he said. "It's been a pretty amazing run. It's very special and certainly nice to have the double."

Yes they rode their luck at times but in LA the Wallabies did what they had to do by beating Samoa 21-7 in the Bronze Medal match which clinched the title. That they did not earn a medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham will all be forgotten now because success is always owned by a nation while defeat is an orphan.

The final standings were very interesting for those of us who think the decision for Scotland to join a Team GB is very wrong. Scotland trailed in a miserable 13th in the final standings while England were 10th and Wales 15th. Are we really supposed to believe that combing the Scottish, English and Welsh national Sevens into one team GB will result in a massive elevation up the table? I somehow think the All Blacks – who didn’t play in four of the nine events because of Covid - the Wallabies and the Springboks plus Fiji and fourth-placed Argentina might have something to say about that prospect. They have all invested in Sevens, and in New Zealand their Seven has a tremendous following, not least because they have won 13 World Sevens Series titles.

Yet in the country that invented the short form game, the SRU are clearly not interested in putting serious money and coaching resources into Sevens. I think that’s the real reason for this Team GB nonsense, either that or some skulduggery between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and World Rugby, the IOC wanting a British team playing before the Paris Olympics, possibly because they want some nice footage for those promotional videos they are so fond of.

We are shortly to have the Men’s Rugby World Cup Sevens in South Africa and I’ll preview that next week. Scotland start by playing Jamaica and unless they have drafted in Usain Bolt we should best them. We are there as automatic qualifiers, but because of our poor performance in the World Sevens Series we are seeded down the field so that we have to play a preliminary round.

If World Rugby and the Scottish, English and Welsh Unions were being honest, they would send a Team GB to compete in South Africa, and stop the pretence that the three nations deserve to take their places in the World Cup.

Other nations, perhaps those in the Challenger class, will look at the privileged entitlement of the three nations of the island of Great Britain and say how can they have a dual identity and why does World Rugby tolerate, nay, encourage it? That is my real fear about this Team GB. Is it the tip of the iceberg? The SRU maintain that Scotland will still have a presence in the international Sevens tournament outside the HSBC World Series, but since the seedings for the World Cup were based on performances in the World Series in the last couple of seasons how is that going to work when there is no longer a Scotland, England or Wales taking part.

Ned Haig will be birling in his grave at the thought of Scotland becoming second class citizens in the game the Melrose butcher invented, and that is what really sticks in my craw – Scotland should be a leading Sevens nation, up there with the All Blacks and Wallabies, but the SRU took its collective eye off the ball many years ago and while we hosted the inaugural World Cup in 1993, Scotland’s experience in the Sevens since then has been one of underperformance. Merging into a Team GB will not sort that problem, however, and it’s a huge backward step for the Scottish game.