LAST week’s announcement that Glasgow would be taking over from Murrayfield as the venue for the Scottish leg of the IRB World Sevens Series was no great surprise to any followers of the game, writes Fiona Scott.
But it did come as a disappointment to some in this region. Scotstoun will be the ground while Melrose has a wait of at least three years to be considered again to host the event.
Local rugby pundit Stuart Cameron said: “Naturally, here in the Borders we are disappointed that Melrose – home of sevens – has not been chosen and the world’s best sevens players will be just as disappointed at not being able to play at the Greenyards, with the history and romance attached to it, but Glasgow has the contract for the next three years and we must all get behind it.
“This year the Scottish leg will become the penultimate tournament, with Twickenham promoted to host the final sevens event after the crowds bought into the whole event with a very healthy attendance over the past two seasons.”
Melrose have announced that the new sponsor for their own 2012 sevens tournament will be Aberdeen Asset Management.
Club president John Reed said: “We are fortunate to have a respected global company as a sponsor with a track record for supporting sport in general and rugby in particular. To have the backing of such a prestigious international company gives our historic tournament that extra cachet it so richly deserves.”
This weekend Melrose move their first-team entourage south for the Greenyards outfit’s final pool game in the British and Irish Cup against London Scottish. The famous exile club is a year younger than Melrose, but has an amazing history in terms of the internationals it has produced.
Reed added: “We are looking forward to a great experience and, hopefully, a good result.”
Elsewhere, former Greens player Stuart Hogg, 19, was named Glasgow Warriors’ man-of-the-match following last weekend’s Heineken Cup victory over top 14 French side Montpellier. The full-back was singled out for the accolade for a display of incisive running during the Pool 3 encounter which saw the Scottish pro side run out with a 20-15 win.
The Warriors have now won six of their last seven Heineken Cup games at home and head coach Sean Lineen said: “The guys showed fantastic spirit and appetite again, and to score a try from a set piece was hugely pleasing. I was really impressed with Stuart Hogg, particularly in the build-up to the try.”
Hogg is a Scottish Rugby Elite Development player attached to Glasgow Warriors this season. Comfortable at stand-off, centre and full-back, the former Hawick High School pupil is a product of Hawick and Hawick Wanderers, and has represented Scotland at under-17, under-18 and under-20 level. Hogg made two Warriors appearances in season 2010/11 and began the 2011/12 RaboDirect PRO12 campaign as the club’s starting full-back.
On Saturday Hogg’s former team mates will be involved in Border League action when Berwick visit Mansfield Park.
z See fixture panel for other weekend games.