Mansfield Park is readying itself for a party on Saturday as the latest leg of Riverside Rock King of the Sevens rolls into town for the 123rd edition of the Hawick Sevens, reports Alex McLeman.
Round four of the Kings series comes to Hawick, with clubs setting their sights on earning meaningful tournament points as they look to reign in early tournament pacesetters Watsonians, Melrose and Edinburgh Accies.
The 49-time winners and current champions Hawick are pitted against Kelso in the opening round with John Thorburn, Hawick club president and sevens convener, hoping for a return to winning ways after a difficult start to the Kings series.
“It has been a bit of a challenge for us in the sevens this season with the relegation play-off game still come but, whenever it’s your home sevens competition you always want to do well and deliver,” he said.
Saturday’s event will take on the usual 16 team, knock-out style competition and will feature guest side Darlington Mowden Park along with the usual Kings of the Sevens and Scottish club sides.
“We are looking forward to the event, sevens is important to everyone,” continued Thorburn.
“We will have the usual king’s sides featuring along with Darlington Mowden Park, who are coached by ex-Hawick and Borders Reivers player Gary Law. No one really knows what Darlington will bring or how good they will be but they are the early favourites.”
First round draw: Jed-Forest v Berwick, Gala v Langholm, Hawick v Kelso, Edinburgh Accies v Peebles, Darlington Mowden Park v Biggar, Boroughmuir v Lasswade, Watsonians v Melrose, Selkirk v Hamilton.
This weekend’s ‘double bill’ of Sevens action concludes at Scremerston on Sunday, as Berwick RFC hosts its contest at Derwentwater Terrace. Melrose, Gala, Selkirk, Kelso, Hawick, Peebles, Jed-Forest and Earltson make up the local contingent.