Several Borders rugby sevens specialists have been reaping the rewards of having learned their trade in the home of the abbreviated game over the past few days.
Scottish Rugby confirmed this week that former Melrose stand-off Scott Wight will play full-time for Scotland 7s in season 2014/15.
Wight will join Jed-Forest twins Gregor and Lewis Young, who have also all signed contract extensions for the national sevens team.
Wight and Selkirk’s Lee Jones have also been named in Stephen Gemmell’s 12-man Commonwealth Games squad.
“I have been fortunate to play with Scotland Sevens on the international stage in the latter half of this season,” said Wight.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed the chance to wear the thistle and it’s not something I’d give up easily, so I’m delighted to be able to sign.
“Before the new season, though, we have the second round of the FIRA Grand Prix Sevens in Moscow and the Commonwealth Games. I want to go out there and make sure that every time I play I am able to operate at my best and lift the entire squad’s performances.”
Gemmell, who will return to the position of Scottish Rugby’s head of performance development after the Commonwealth Games, said: “All four players have cut their teeth on the Borders’ domestic circuit and have adapted their skill set at the top level.”
Another Melrose man, Calum MacRae, will take over Gemmell’s position in the new season.
The former Border Reivers and Edinburgh Rugby player makes the move from Newcastle Falcons, where he has been skills coach for the past three seasons.
“Melrose is my home town, so it’s a huge honour for me and my family to coach the short game at the highest level. I have a huge amount of love and passion for the game and I know that I will transfer that into the performances of the players I’ll be working with,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hawick’s Scotland Sevens professional John Houston is to retire from rugby following a series of injuries sustained over the years.
Houston won 17 sevens caps and scored 14 tries. He will now look to further his career in project management.