Column: Injury cover rules for rugby sevens in need of rethink

Last weekend’s Kings of the 7s double-header served up some top-class action.

By Robin Purdie
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 9:19 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 9:19 am
Lewis Young playing for Jed-Forest against Selkirk at Kelso Sevens (Photo: Bill McBurnie)
Lewis Young playing for Jed-Forest against Selkirk at Kelso Sevens (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

Jed-Forest found a different way to win at Kelso, toughing it out against four handy teams, having won more easily at Langholm and Berwick. The final against Gala was a tight affair, and a late game-saving tackle by Gary Munro will live long in the memory.

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Selkirk’s win at Earlston might have surprised some, but they’ve been quietly going about their business and will head into their own tournament in fine fettle. Any side coached by Scott Wight will be canny and hard-working, and they got their tactics spot-on at the Haugh. The inclusion of Selkirk Youth Club player Finlay Wheelans added real pace, and he was outstanding in the final.

On a different note, the injury cover situation needs looking at. As it stands, teams can pull in players from clubs they’ve knocked out previously. With squads of 12 now for pool competitions and 10 for knockout events, there should be no need for that, and it is open to abuse. New Zealand won the 2018 Dubai 7s while down to nine players. They were not able to raid beaten semi-finalists England and just had to get on with the job, but we’re seeing amateur semis and finals featuring teams enhanced by other players, and that can’t be right.