Weekend feast of rugby seeks to highlight Peebles’ club status

From the Peebles Sevens last year, Scott Stoddart is on the ball for the hosts against Kelso (library image).
From the Peebles Sevens last year, Scott Stoddart is on the ball for the hosts against Kelso (library image).

Peebles RFC is a club for everyone, regardless of age.

That’s one of the messages they’re aiming to project at The Gytes with a three-day festival of rugby this weekend.

The spectacular will be celebrating the youth aspect of the game, as well as heralding a new series of the Ned Haig Kings of the Sevens.

Top Borders sides will be gathering on Saturday for the traditional early-August start to the famous contest celebrating the shortened game.

However, the Kings action is book-ended by two sevens tournaments showcasing the young rugby talent currently on the scene.

At 6pm tomorrow (Friday) Peebles hosts an Under-16s contest, featuring clubs on the Borders circuit.

On Sunday at 1.30pm, it’s the Peebles Colts 7s, in which local sides are set to be joined by line-ups from Carlisle and Allan Glen’s in Glasgow.

The main action of the weekend, however, begins at 2pm on Saturday.

Defending champions Watsonians are drawn in Pool C , with the hosts in Pool D alongside Berwick and Hawick.

Peebles sevens convenor Jim King said it would nice for the men in red and white to reach the final, or possibly even win.

He added the club wanted to try something different this year to involve the younger element and emphasise that Peebles was one club for all.

Some interesting ties had been shaped by the draw – which, said Jim, had been unseeded for the first time, with all 12 teams going into the hat on equal terms.

“At Peebles, pre-season training has been full on and the lads in the squad are raring to go,” he said.

Pool A – Jed-Forest v Kelso, Kelso v Selkirk, Selkirk v Jed-Forest. Pool B – Edinburgh Accies v Melrose, Heriot’s v Edinburgh Accies, Melrose v Heriot’s. Pool C – Watsonians v Gala, Gala v Biggar, Biggar v Watsonians. Pool D – Peebles v Berwick, Berwick v Hawick, Hawick v Peebles.

l There’s another huge rugby event on tomorrow – the Three 9s at Jed-Forest, celebrating, among other things, the accomplishments of Jed’s three international scrum-halves, Roy Laidlaw, Gary Armstrong and Greig Laidlaw.

BBC sports presenter Dougie Donnelly is the compere.