Melrose relish homecoming for Sevens circuit showpiece

Melrose captain Bruce Colvine, left, and teammate Grant Runciman, in their Sevens playing kits (picture by Gareth Easton)
Melrose captain Bruce Colvine, left, and teammate Grant Runciman, in their Sevens playing kits (picture by Gareth Easton)

Melrose RFC have a hat-trick of prestigious finals coming up – but the focus for now is all on their celebrated Sevens tournament.

The Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens – the principal event on the Kings of the Sevens calendar – takes place at the Greenyards this Saturday.

And the hosts are putting to one side thoughts of the BT Premiership play-off final with Ayr the following Saturday, the BT Scottish Cup final against the same opponents on April 22, and the Bookers Border League final at Kelso on April 26 against Gala, to concentrate on this glorious occasion for the club and the town.

Head coach Robert Chrystie said everybody associated with the club was very excited about it.

“We have earned the right to be where we are now, and we’re exactly where we wanted to be,” he said. “But this week, it’s all about the 7s, and making sure we’re as well prepared as we can be to give a good account of ourselves.

“ We’re quite fortunate in that a lot of the boys have played a lot of 7s in the past.”

The likes of Nyle Godsmark, who has played 7s with Scotland, Ian Moody, who has played a lot of representative 7s, and skipper Bruce Colvine, could particularly thrive among the Melrose squad but, as Chrystie pointed out: “They are all good 7s players and there are loads of them in the mix. Every Melrose player wants to play at the home 7s.”

A large crowd is expected too on what is also a special day for the community.

“It’s a great day for the town and the local businesses,” said Chrystie. “The standard of rugby will be right up ther too – everybody wants to play at the Melrose 7s. All the local and city teams bring really strong squad along to it, so the level goes up naturally.”

Club vice-president Douglas Hardie said ticket sales were well up this year and accommodation was difficult to come by for a 10-15 mile radius, such was the popularity of the event. “There is huge anticipation and expectation, both from the club itself and the supporters, so let’s hope we can fulfil those for them.”

First-round draw:

Marr v Kelso (winners play Watsonians, victors in last week’s Gala 7s, in the second round).

Currie v Gala (winners play Jed-Forest in second round).

Hawks v Stirling (winners play Accies in second round).

Hawick v GHA (winners play Harlequins in second round).

Stewart’s-Melville v Selkirk (winners play GSI in second round).

Dundee v Ayr (winners play Melrose in second round).

Boroughmuir v Peebles (winners play Co-op in second round).

Heriot’s v Falkirk (winners play Sweden in second round).

The newly-revived Melrose VETS (Veterans) Tournament is also taking place tomorrow (Friday, April 7) on the eve of the main event.