Hopes for Greens to win tournament for sixth year in a row

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HAWICK president Rory Bannerman is ready to welcome supporters to Mansfield Park on Saturday for an afternoon of good old-fashioned Borders sevens.

And he is hoping the Greens can maintain their stranglehold on the annual tournament by lifting the RBC Capital Markets Hawick Sevens silverware for an unbelievable sixth successive year.

He said: “To win it six times in a row would be unthinkable until you look at the lads we’ve got playing in our side and then you realise it is most definitely thinkable.

“Guys like John Coutts, Neil Renwick, Rory Hutton and Keith Davies who will be raring to go and eager to go out and win their sixth title in a row.”

Hawick have a predominantly Borders line-up for their tournament, which includes Gala, Kelso, Hawick YM, Jed-Forest, Berwick, Peebles and Heriot’s. Although there is the addition of visiting teams from Ponteland and Rugby MADs – a select side from Holland.

Mr Bannerman added: “We thought it was quite poignant to bring Ponteland, given their proximity to Hexham and the celebrations we will be having around the 500th anniversary of Hornshole.

“The team from Holland will also bring a little continental flair as well.

“Last weekend, the nearest any Scottish club got to winning at Melrose was Ayr and that’s a hundred miles away. We’re hoping there will will be a bit more of a local taint here.”

Mansfield Park will be a buzz of activity on an eagerly-anticipated day that is being billed as fun for all the family.

The army will be coming down with climbing walls for the kids, referee Andy Ireland will be speaking at the corporate function beforehand, there is live music from the Stevie T Band, entertainment in the evening and a kids tournament on the neighbouring Mansfield Haugh pitch, with the final due to be played ahead of the day’s big final.

And there will be a special event for the ladies at the hugely popular Ladies Day.Brodie Dyce has organised the event alongside Gala legend Richie Gray, who operates outdoor bar specialists The Bar.

And Brodie revealed there are almost 200 women booked up.

She said: “It has been very much in demand ... I’ve had to say there’s no more tickets available.”

This year’s sponsor is RBC Capital Markets, part of the Royal Bank of Canada – a leading provider of financial services and one of the 15 largest banks in the world.

Mr Bannerman said: “We believe that this will be a mutually beneficial venture and we look forward to a better, stronger, sevens tournament as a result of this partnership.”

And with a dry day expected weather-wise, it promises to be another momentous occasion on the Kings calendar.

“There’s so much going on this year, there really is something for everybody. We hope everyone comes along and enjoys the day,” said Mr Bannerman.