Kings of the Sevens carnival pitches up at Mansfield Park

Bruce McNeil of Hawick wins this tussle for the ball against Boroughmuir at last weekend's Melrose 7s (picture by Bill McBurnie).
Bruce McNeil of Hawick wins this tussle for the ball against Boroughmuir at last weekend's Melrose 7s (picture by Bill McBurnie).
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Hawick RFC president John Thorburn thinks the Greens will be “a step up” this weekend from the last couple of Kings of the Sevens events – largely because they are the hosts.

Mansfield Park is the venue on Saturday for the latest round of the 2019 series, sponsored by BSW Timber – with the next stage at Berwick on Sunday (see report right).

Thorburn said there were good Scottish-based squads taking part and everyone hoped, as always, for good weather and a large turnout.

The action at the 124th presentation of the competition would be complemented by a youth contest on the next-door Mansfield Haugh pitch, hospitality and an after party.

“Edinburgh Accies are going well this year, as are Watsonians, while Melrose should have a good squad,” said Thorburn.

Every Sevens host naturally wanted to do well in its own contest and the disappointment of Hawick’s narrow XVs defeat in Tuesday’s Border League Final (see report on our website) may harden the Sevens’ players resolve to do the club proud.

“We have a pretty good track record at Hawick Sevens over the years,” said Thorburn. “The players are always keen to do well and should be a step up from the two previous weeks.”

On June 2, Hawick RFC is hosting a special lunch to honour two former players and their international achievements – Stuart Hogg, as the Robbie Dyes most capped Scotland player, and Darcy Graham, who had a memorable Six Nations campaign, as the most recent cap.

Hawick RFC has made the switch to summer from next season for the Kings of the Sevens – so shortened-game action will be returning to Mansfield Park on August 10.

Meanwhile, the first game on April 20 is at 2pm, with the final scheduled for 6.30pm. The draw is as follows:

Langholm v Watsonians, Hamilton v Boroughmuir, Kelso v Hawick, Berwick v Gala, Selkirk v Melrose, Peebles v Heriot’s, Glasgow Hawks v Hawick Force, Edinburgh Accies v Jed-Forest.

Berwick Sevens on Sunday

Berwick RFC is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and has a cup final appearance to look forward to at BT Murrayfield on April 27.

Its club dinner is tonight (Thursday) and, on Saturday, it hosts the Northumberland Cup Final between Alnwick and Morpeth.

As if that wasn’t enough, Berwick stages the second half of this weekend’s Kings of the Sevens double header at Scremerston on Sunday, sponsored by Kelso and Lothian Harvesters.

Sevens convenor and club secretary Stephen Gilchrist hoped the 12-team knockout format would promise some great rugby.

While there was a lot of excitement around the XVs, he added, the 7s players were being urged to let their rugby do the talking. “They’re going to Hawick Sevens on Saturday and they are a good young squad, keen and motivated.”

Sunday’s action starts at 1pm and the draw is:

Pool 1 – Melrose v Peebles, Boroughmuir v Peebles, Boroughmuir v Melrose.

Pool 2 – Edinburgh Accies v Hawick, Hawick v Jed-Forest, Edinburgh Accies v Jed-Forest.

Pool 3 – Borders Select v Kelso, Berwick v Kelso, Berwick v Borders Select.

Pool 4 – Earlston v Selkirk, Earlston v Watsonians, Selkirk v Watsonians.