Beyond that... why else might the IRB be delaying its announcement? A few educated guesses...
- IRB want Australia and New Zealand (and China maybe) to take part - but they will probably not commit.
- An eight nation event would be financially viable, but more than that might be problematic - the more teams you have in a tournament the more matches you need to play, and the more stadium time is needed, so costs rise significantly. In some venues you'd need extra pitches.
- Trouble is that eight teams means excluding teams like France, Netherlands, Spain, etc.
- IRB may not normally worry about such things, but now the Olympics are involved many of these nations' NOCs will be very interested and will have the financial clout to to sue the pants off the IRB if their nation was excluded. The IOC itself would probably have things to say.
- With the money the Dutch are investing into their Sevens a few extra Euros to brief m'learned counsel would seem a reasonable expense, especially if joined by France, Spain, et al.
- Its difficult to see how the IRB could argue successfully, in court, that the likes of France (finalists in last Hong Kong 7s) and Spain (Euro Champs 2010) should be excluded while New Zealand and Australia (not set foot on a field in 7s since 2009) should be included.
- IRB could get a very (expensive) bloody nose
What I suspect we are going to get therefore is... nothing. Well, nothing other than Dubai, Las Vegas and Hong Kong having far larger turnouts of women's teams than ever before - but no overall, official, WSS title. And no London sevens.