Gregors to the fore as Glasgow retain Melrose Sevens title

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Glasgow Warriors retained their Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens title with the help of a trio of local Gregors on Saturday.

The pro rugby side are coached by 82-times capped Gregor Townsend, while former Gala stand off Gregor Hunter was part of the squad.

And having played for his home team Jed-Forest until they were beaten by the eventual winners at the semi-final stages, Scotland sevens internationalist Gregor Young was then called into the Warriors squad, replacing the injured Rory Hughes, and put a polished-looking German outfit to the sword in a highly entertaining final.

More than 10,000 visitors turned out at the Greenyards to watch the 125th playing of the action-packed event, and speaking to The Southern after watching his team being presented with the Ladies Cup for the second year in succession, Townsend said: “To be invited to play at Melrose Sevens is a real honour for us as a club and everyone takes it really seriously, so we are delighted to have won it two years on the trot.

“It was a lot tougher for us this year, all the teams we played came out and fought hard, and we were really up against it in some of the ties.

“Gregor (Hunter) has been out injured for 19 months so to come back and play sevens at Melrose was a big ask. I thought he played really well and has proved that he is fit enough to be back in the Glasgow squad.

“It was great to be able to call on Gregor (Young) for the final, he played both for and against us, and gave it his all in both matches.”

Jed-Forest, featuring four international sevens players, kept up the form of the previous week, first seeing off Heriot’s (22-5) in the opening round, before taking the scalp of South African guest side North West University to provide the first big shock of the afternoon.

The Riverside outfit held off a late burst of momentum from Edinburgh Accies to run out 19-17 winners, before being narrowly beaten 17-12 by the Warriors in the semi-finals.

“It was a really enjoyable tournament, although playing five ties in the space of five-and-a-half hours was quite tiring,” said medal winner Young, who fancies the chances of his home side in the Kings of the Sevens tournament this year.

“Jed are really gunning for it, so supporters can be assured of witnessing the same kind of performances they have seen in the past two weeks over the next eight rounds,” he added.

As it stands, Gala head the Kings table with 13 points, Jed one point behind. Watsonians are in third place on six points, while Melrose launched themselves onto the table by reaching the semi-final stages of their own tournament where they were beat 22-12 by Germany. They are in fourth place on five points.