Gala gear up for Five Star Sevens

123rd annual Gala seven's at Netherdale. Gala vs Selkirk
123rd annual Gala seven's at Netherdale. Gala vs Selkirk

All roads in the Borders lead to Netherdale this Sunday as the 2015 Kings of the Sevens series gets set to roll into action at the Five Star Taxis Gala Sevens.

Proving very popular over the last two years, among both teams and spectators, the pool format continues this time around with each side being guaranteed at least three games and the prospect of progressing in either the Cup, Plate or Bowl semi-finals and finals.

Kaye Niven from Five Star Taxis makes the draw for the 124th Gala Sevens with vice president Graham Low and player Craig Dods in attendance.

Kaye Niven from Five Star Taxis makes the draw for the 124th Gala Sevens with vice president Graham Low and player Craig Dods in attendance.

Gala began making changes to the format of their tournament three seasons ago in order to answer some of the shortcomings of the straight knock-out system, and organisers believe they have now found a winning formula.

“The club is very pleased with this format and have had great feedback from participating teams,” said vice-president Graham Low.

“Since we have changed to this type of tournament the attendance has risen every year and we are hoping for the same this year along with some good weather.

“We are very pleased that Five Star Taxis have continued their sponsorship of this tournament. Like in every club, the sevens tournament brings the biggest income in a season, so it’s crucial that we get the format and sponsorship spot on.”

Kaye Niven, from Five Star Taxis, added: “We are a rugby family and this is our hometown so, for us, it’s all about putting something back into the community.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed the event over the last three years and are looking forward to Sunday.”

Teams have been drawn into four pools of three, with the top sides from the four sections going into the Cup semis, the runners-up in each pool progress to the Plate semi-finals and the third from each will make up the Bowl semi-finals.

The draw itself has thrown up some interesting ties with last year’s tournament winners and Kings of the Sevens title holders Melrose in the same group as Watsonians, who they beat in the final last time round.

Hosts Gala have been drawn in a tough all-Borders group along with Kelso and Peebles. Last year’s captain and Maroons’ full-back Craig Dods told us: “Both teams have really good sevens sides, so we are taking nothing for granted.

“There is some great potential in the Gala side this season though and training has been going well. We just need to hit the ground running at our own tournament.

“Sevens provides a great buzz at the end of the season and we can’t wait to get back into it.”

Action starts at 1pm, refreshments and entertainment all day, evening entertainment will be in the Centenary Lounge – free admission after the final.

The draw

Pool One

Edinburgh Accies; Stewart’s Melville; Selkirk

Pool Two

Gala; Kelso; Peebles

Pool Three

Melrose; Watsonians; Jed-Forest

Pool four

Hawick; Currie; Boroughmuir

First tie: 1pm