Poynder Park welcomes the latest leg of the Kings of the Sevens series, with plenty still to play for.
The 88th staging of the Maxwell Motors Kelso Sevens, first held in 1920, will see the top two teams in the table – Gala and Melrose – go head-to-head in the group stages.
The retention of the pool format follows last year’s successful event, and it means that each team will have a minimum of two games in their group.
The pool winners will contest the semi-finals and last season the third game in each group just happened to be the equivalent of a quarter-final.
Alongside Gala and Melrose, current Kings of the Sevens Jed-Forest will feature – they were defeated in last year’s final by Watsonians as the Myreside men claimed their first Poynder Park title.
Edinburgh Accies, finalists at Langholm Sevens last week, and Edinburgh University are welcome guests to the Borders sevens circuit, bringing with them a youthful exuberance.
The Pigbarians, who ran Melrose close in the Muckle Toon last week, complete the line-up, with the charity side led by Kelso’s own development officer Jammy McFarlane. And, of course, there is the home side, who have so far struggled on the sevens circuit, but will be bouyed by a big home support. Langholm are missing because of an East League match.
As last season, there will be a Player of the Tournament trophy, sponsored by ex-Kelso and Scotland captain Gary Callander. Last year’s winner was Watsonians playmaker Mike Ker.
Do the history books point to a likely winner? Even they show that the champions could come from anywhere – Hawick in 1923; Melrose in 1933; Langholm in 1953; Hawick in 1963; Kelso in 1973; Kelso in 1983, Jed-Forest in 1993 and Gala in 2003.
Admission is the same as last year – £12, £6 concessions and £4 for secondary school pupils. No alcohol may be brought into the ground.
Kelso Sevens draw (first pool tie 1.30pm): Group A – Jed-Forest, Selkirk, Edinburgh Accies. Jed v EA (1.30pm); Selkirk v EA (2.42pm); Jed v Selkirk (3.54pm).
Group B – Kelso, Peebles, Edinburgh Uniersity. Peebles v EU (1.48pm); Kelso v EU (3pm); Kelso v Peebles (4.12pm).
Group C – Watsonians, Hawick, Berwick. Hawick v Berwick (2.06pm); Watsonians v Berwick (3.18pm); Watsonians v Hawick (4.30pm).
Group D – Gala, Melrose, Pigbarians. Melrose v Pigbarians (2.24pm); Gala v Pig (3.36pm); Gala v Melrose (4.48pm).