Sevens up at Hawick for festival of rugby

It’s sevens up in the Borders again this weekend as the first short-sided rugby competition in the region for two years continues at Hawick.

Thursday, 12th August 2021, 12:35 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th August 2021, 12:35 pm
A glimpse back to Hawick's last sevens contest in 2019 ... and former captain Bruce McNeil leads the charge for the hosts against Melrose. Winners on the day were Jed-Forest (picture by Bill McBurnie)

A dozen teams – seven from the Borders and four in and around Edinburgh, plus late entrants Berwick – contest the second round of the latest Kings of the 7s tournament on Saturday at Mansfield Park.

As with the opening round at Peebles last weekend, there will be lots more to enjoy at the home of the Robbie Dyes, and the same should be true next weekend with another spectacular at Galashiels.

A three-day festival begins tomorrow at 5pm with Teri touch at Mansfield Park, and Sunday is devoted to promoting grass-roots rugby. Hawick Youth take on Gala at 11am for the Law Cup and at 2pm there are simultaneous Hawick Youth contests, with under-16s at Mansfield Haugh and U18s at Mansfield Park.

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Sandwiched in between, on Saturday, is the Kings of the 7s event, at which the Greens hope to have a large crowd in the wake of relaxed Covid-19 regulations.

The host club are keen to make a big on-field impression against regional rivals including Gala, Melrose, Kelso, Jed-Forest, Peebles and Selkirk.

Selkirk currently top the table after last week’s curtain-raiser at the Gytes despite losing in the final to charity side Hearts and Balls Mighty Bovs.

Joining them from in and around the capital are Boroughmuir, Watsonians, Edinburgh Accies and East Lothian’s Musselburgh.

The contest will be preceded at noon by a game between Hawick Force and Jed-Forest 2s.

The sevens squads are divided into four pools of three for a 2pm start at Mansfield Park, and the line-up is:

Pool A – Gala v Melrose, Melrose v Boroughmuir, Gala v Boroughmuir. Pool B – Hawick v Musselburgh, Musselburgh v Peebles, Hawick v Peebles. Pool C – Jed-Forest v Watsonians, Watsonians v Berwick, Jed-Forest v Berwick. Pool D – Selkirk v Kelso, Edinburgh Accies v Kelso, Selkirk v Edinburgh Accies.

Last year, around 70 per cent of Hawick members had paid to watch before the contest was halted because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and they are being granted free entry this time round. NHS staff will also be admitted free on production of ID.

Peebles Sevens report

- pages 52 & 53