Melrose rugby are to revamp its world famous Sevens competition next year as the club also announced ambitious plans to host the Rugby Sevens World Cup.
The Greenyards – the home of the Amateur Sevens game – is to be front and centre of the rugby world stage with an expanded four-day extravaganza of top club class rugby and entertainment next April.
It’s hoped this will be the catalyst in moving towards hosting the Sevens World Cup – on the 150th anniversary of the first Sevens game at Greenyards – in 2033.
“This is our Sevens 20/20 Vision”, explained Phil Morris, commercial and marketing director of Melrose Rugby Ltd.
“We’re going to put on a fantastic event, maintaining all the rugby traditions we all hold dear but adding new exciting competitions and entertainment.”
The four-day event will start on April 9 headlined by a band which has still to be announced. Friday will see an U18s tournament, Saturday and Sunday sees the Ladies Centenary Cup and the Ned Haig Cup played with family-themed entertainment throughout.
Mr Morris continued: “We want our Sevens tournament to be inclusive and fun. Whether or not you’re a die-hard rugby fan, there’s going to be something for everyone, young and old.
“Melrose is where Rugby Sevens was born in 1883. In 2020, we’re taking things to another level.”
Rugby Sevens was first held in Scotland in 1993 with the Melrose Cup awarded to the winner of the men’s tournament, named after the Borders town where the first game was played.
Mike Dalgetty, director of rugby at Melrose, added: “We have big ambitions at Melrose, on and off the field. There’s a real energy and buzz about the place and it’s exciting to be part of that.
“We’re so proud of our heritage as the home of Amateur Rugby Sevens. We’ve proved, year-after-year, that we can put on a top-class tournament that is enjoyed by spectators and visiting teams from around the world.
“We will never take our eye off what has always made the Melrose Sevens so special.
“Those traditions will remain. But our 2020 tournament is going to be bigger than ever before.
“We can’t wait to put a spotlight on Melrose in April next year when we’ll host a vibrant new rugby event.”
The club is working with the Scottish Borders Council to ensure all logistics are managed.