Melrose Sevens to return next spring, club bosses confirm

Melrose’s rugby sevens tournament is to return next April after two years off due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was announced today, November 24.

By Darin Hutson
Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 9:28 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 10:14 am
Melrose playing Edinburgh University during the last sevens tournament at the Greenyards back in 2019 (Photo: Bill McBurnie)
Melrose playing Edinburgh University during the last sevens tournament at the Greenyards back in 2019 (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

The sevens competition – to take place on Saturday, April 9 – will be the centrepiece of a four-day event centred on the Greenyards, as had been planned previously before coronavirus restrictions forced a rethink.

It will begin with a Melrose Sevens hall of fame dinner on Thursday, April, and continue with a game the day after between Fosroc Super6 side Southern Knights and a British Army team. That game will double up as a fundraiser for the motor neurone disease research charity set up by Borders rugby legend Doddie Weir and there’ll be an exhibition sevens game featuring ex-internationalists and former British and Irish Lions during its half-time break.

Proceedings will be rounded off by a concert headlined by veteran alternative rock act Big Country on Sunday, April 10.

Action from Gala's sevens event last August (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

Phil Morris, Melrose’s commercial and sevens tournament director, said: “Being able to attract quality teams to Melrose really does enable us to put this event on the world rugby sevens stage.

“It will be a weekend of fantastic rugby that will continue to celebrate the traditions we all hold dear.

“We want our sevens tournament to be fun. There’s going to be something for everyone, young and old.

“Melrose is where rugby sevens was invented in 1883 and we will we be back with a bang in 2022.

“Melrose and the local community have missed two sevens events due to Covid, and we are looking forward to being able to host our 132nd sevens event and draw people back to the Borders next year. It is exciting to be part of that.”

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Gala have also revealed plans for their sevens tournament next year, confirming it will follow the same format as August’s Maroon’[email protected] extravaganza.

It will be held at Netherdale on Saturday, August 20, and, besides its centre-piece short-sided rugby contest, will feature football matches, running events and live music.

Gala president Ian Dalgleish said: “The Maroon’[email protected] concept has been very well received and the success of our inaugural event this summer, coupled with positive feedback and the continued support of our partners, has given us confidence to bring it back in 2022.

“Together, we’re committed to creating a community event that local people want to be part of and to celebrate the proud sporting history of Gala Rugby Club, as well as to inspire our future stars.

“We also want to build on what we achieved this year and to extend the feelgood factor beyond the Netherdale site, maximising the positive economic impact in Galashiels town centre.”

Further details will be announced nearer the time on Gala’s Facebook page.

The Borders’ sevens calendar was wiped out in 2020 and only two rounds of the Kings of the 7s went ahead this year, at Peebles and Hawick in August, Gala’s event not forming part of the circuit that time round.

Melrose are top of the table following those two rounds on 13 points, with Jed-Forest second on 10, Hawick and Gala joint third on eight, Selkirk fifth on seven, Edinburgh’s Watsonians sixth on six, Kelso seventh on five and Peebles and Edinburgh Accies joint eighth on three.