Rugby sevens legend Waisale Serevi to be inducted into Borders sporting hall of fame

Rugby legend Waisale Serevi is to be a guest of honour at this year’s Melrose Sevens.

By Darin Hutson
Thursday, 27th January 2022, 1:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th January 2022, 1:41 pm
Waisale Serevi at 2009's Melrose Sevens
Waisale Serevi at 2009's Melrose Sevens

The 53-year-old was the first Fijian to be inducted into the World Rugby hall of fame back in 2013 – joining Melrose Sevens founder Ned Haig and the Greenyards club and since joined, in November, by ex-Scotland head coach Jim Telfer – and now he’s going to be added to a Borders version too.

Serevi, acclaimed as the world’s greatest rugby sevens player ever but also a former 15-a-side international, having played for Fiji 39 times between 1989 and 2003, will be inducted into Melrose’s sevens hall of fame at a dinner to be held at the Greenyards on Thursday, April 7, as part of this year’s four-day sevens festival.

The former Leicester Tigers player, part of the Fiji sevens side from 1989 to 2007, helping win two world cups and leading to national holidays being declared on both occasions, has also been signed up to take part in a fundraising legends game the day after in aid of former Melrose and Scotland lock Doddie Weir’s motor neurone disease research charity.

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Waisale Serevi evading an attempted tackle by Clark Laidlaw during an IRB London 7s tournament game between Fiji and Scotland at Twickenham Stadium in London in 2005 (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Melrose Sevens tournament director Phil Morris is delighted to be welcoming back the small-side game A-lister, saying: “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Serevi back to the home of rugby sevens here at the Greenyards and it is a real privilege for us to be able to induct him into the Melrose rugby sevens hall of fame.

“It is difficult to think of a player who has had a bigger impact on rugby sevens in recent times.

“He was a wizard on the rugby field and a gentleman off it.

“We know that Melrose holds a special place for him and that he is looking forward to enjoying the return of the sevens as well as putting on his boots to play in the Doddie Weir legends fundraising game on the Friday night.”

Scotland's Sean Lineen taking on Fiji's Waisale Serevi during a 38-17 victory for the hosts at Edinburgh's Murrayfield Stadium in October 1989 (Photo: Russell Cheyne/Allsport)

Serevi added: “Thank you to the people of Melrose for inviting me back to your tournament. It is an honour to come back to the home of rugby sevens, and I look forward to enjoying some great rugby and having a run about in support of Doddie Weir. See you in April!”

Tickets for the hall of fame dinner, priced £40, are available at https://melrose7s.co.uk/