Magnificent sevens return to Borders

Competitive rugby in the Borders is about to be given its highest-profile stage since its emergence from the shackles of Covid-19.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 3:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th August 2021, 3:59 pm
Samurai's Lewis Young, from Jedburgh, left, and David Colvine of Melrose were in sevens action in Edinburgh last weekend - and similar thrills are set to follow closer to home this Saturday with the Peebles Sevens (picture by Rob Gray)

Following some full-contact matches and small-sided contests involving local clubs, plus the return of the Fosroc Super6 competition, this weekend sees the reappearance of the Kings of the Sevens series.

Saturday’s leg at Peebles is due to be followed a week later by Hawick’s staging, both part of wider festivals of rugby, and Gala are also holding a separate Maroon’[email protected] event to complement their own sevens on August 21.

The announcement this week of a lifting of Covid-19 restrictions came as welcome news to the clubs, all keen to welcome bigger crowds than the previous rules would have allowed. However, Hawick sevens convener John Thorburn warned: “We’ve not seen the small print yet.”

At the Gytes in Peebles, club president and sevens organiser Allan Beveridge said the weekend’s festival would be different in format but it would be one of the first, if not the first, rugby tournament locally for almost 18 months so it means a lot to the club.

“We’re definitely looking forward to hosting and letting the Peebles folk have a day out,” he added.

Under-16s games will be played tomorrow evening and colts ones on Sunday. Also, for the first time, there will be a women’s tournament on Saturday morning.

“We need a good day and a good crowd and, hopefully, we will get some sport back into Peebles,” added Beveridge. “We’re hopeful of a good return to rugby for both the players and the spectators.”

The draw for sevens play beginning at 2pm is: Pool A – Peebles v Biggar, Peebles v Hawick, Biggar v Hawick; Pool B – Watsonians v Selkirk, Watsonians v Currie, Selkirk v Currie; Pool C – Melrose v Hearts & Balls, Melrose v Kelso, Hearts & Balls v Kelso; Pool D – Jed-Forest v Berwick, Jed-Forest v Gala, Berwick v Gala.

Taking part in the Hawick Sevens on August 14, along with the host club, will be Langholm, Peebles, Selkirk, Gala, Melrose, Jed-Forest, Kelso, Boroughmuir, Edinburgh Accies, Musselburgh and Watsonians, to be divided into four pools of three.

On the Friday before that, there will be Teri touch rugby, and the Sunday, August 15, will see sevens contests at Mansfield Park featuring U16s and U18s.