ON SUNDAY the sevens bandwagon rolls into Earlston as the Kings of the Sevens contest nears its climax.
The Rutherford Seat Earlston Sevens tournament, round eight in the 10-event series, is sure to bring out the competitive best as the top clubs aim to get their hands on the sought-after prize.
Earlston’s scenic little ground, the Haugh, always provides a good setting for a tournament which makes up in friendliness, a unique atmosphere, and fiercely contested ties, what it may lack in size.
Along with the likes of Duns and St Boswells, Earlston Rugby Club plays a vital part in the rugby landscape of the Borders.
These smaller clubs provide an avenue for young players who are taking up the game and older ones who are coming to the end of their careers. Moreover, they provide a strong club atmosphere and good standard of rugby for the player who, in this professional age, still views rugby as a primarily social pastime.
Socialising certainly plays a big part on Earlston Sevens day, as players and supporters renew old friendships over a drink and enjoy the quality sevens action on display.
Despite being overshadowed by near neighbours Melrose, the club has a history as rich and long as the best of them. Originally formed back in the 1870s, the annual sports were first held in 1923, with Gala the first winners.
It goes without saying that Earlston relies on its sevens to bring in valuable income and anyone with an interest in supporting this valuable club should head along on Sunday.
Over the years the event has proved to be a hotly contested event that brings out all the old local rivalries.
President Richard Aitchison is one of many looking forward to what promises to be an great day of rugby at the Haugh.
He told TheSouthern: “Earlston sevens has firmly established itself as one of the most popular events on the Kings circuit and everyone comes expecting to see an exciting day of rugby and meet old friends on the May Day weekend.
“In my opinion, the Kings of the Sevens tournament has an added edge this year with all 10 club tournaments taking place on the spring circuit for the first time and the competition promises to be fierce with Melrose and Selkirk in particular chasing hard-to catch current leaders Jed-Forest.
“It takes a real team effort to organise a tournament such as this and I would like to thank all of the volunteers at the club as well as the Borders Rugby Referees Society for officiating once again, and all local sponsors who support us year after year.”
Draw for Earlston Sevens (first tie 1pm): Watsonians v Berwick; Jed-Forest v Hawick YM; Peebles v Gala; Selkirk v Kelso; Langholm v Earlston; Melrose v Duns; Edinburgh Accies v Stewarts Melville; Hawick v Haddington.