Column: Red and white hoops of South of Scotland a welcome sight for rugby fans

The curtain has now come down on the Kings of the 7s season, with Jedforest wrapping up their own tournament in style to accumulate 68 points, their highest-ever total, and incredibly they did it in just nine rounds instead of the usual 10 this year.

By Stuart Cameron
Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 7:55 am
Updated Monday, 23rd May 2022, 7:36 am

They achieved five tournament wins and no one will argue against the fact that they fully deserve to be champions.

The Borders’ club rugby season might be finished, but there’s one more tournament we’ll be following this weekend south of the border in England.

Percy Park Rugby Club in North Shields is holding an elite sevens tournament and the South of Scotland will be taking part.

Sign up to our daily The Southern Reporter Today newsletter

It always gives me a tingle when I see the red and white stripes of the South team running out on any rugby field.

It’s a rare sight these days and only four 15-a-side matches have taken place this century, with the South coming back from behind in all four to win.

Their two wins over Caledonia Reds and one against Northumberland were overshadowed by their victory over a star-studded Barbarians team, but four matches in 22 years isn’t enough and I really do hope that one day soon we will see club players from the Tennent’s Premiership and national leagues given an opportunity to represent their district.

For now, we have to be content with a South sevens squad of 12 players competing this Saturday.

The six top sides in the Borders are all represented in some capacity, whether via players, coaches or vital back-room staff.

Lewis Young, Aaron McColm and a few others are unavailable through injury or other reasons, but that gives opportunities to some young players to step up and get valuable experience at a higher level.

Here are the lucky 12 selected – captain Gregor Young, Gary Munro, Finlay Scott, Liam Scott, Struan Hutchison, Finlay Wheelans, Archie Pilcher, Donald Crawford, Bruce Colvine, Andrew Grant-Suttie, Ryan Cottrell and Callum Anderson. Their coaches are Fraser Harkness and Matty Douglas.

The South was one of the topics I discussed with the new president of the Border League when I interviewed her this week.

Fiona Skeen will become the first woman in that role and I am sure she will do an excellent job, but it is clear that sorting out issues over the Border League and the Kings of the 7s, as well as everything else, will not be easy.

When you have to preside over 10 clubs in the Borders all with their own agendas – and rightly so – it is impossible to please everyone, but we wish her well in her new position.More rugby coverage on pages 39 to 43