The Melrose Veterans Tournament is set to return to the Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens this year.
The VETS tournament takes place on Friday, April 7 – the day before the main sevens contest.
The 10-a-side Melrose event, which took a break in 2016, will see Melrose RFC joined by fellow Scottish teams, including the Hearts & Balls and Border Reivers, as well as teams from further afield including the Cayman Harlequins, the Irish Crusaders, the Crusaders RFC.
The Crusaders RFC, winners of the last iteration of the Melrose VETS tournament, will be hoping to retain the coveted trophy. The Crusaders are a unique team of rugby players who have had cancer, playing to raise awareness of male cancers.
The Borders Reivers team is a new creation playing in black and green strips. This team will be made up of players from across the Scottish Borders and will be aiming for a strong showing at their inaugural tournament outing.
Trevor Jackson, president of Melrose RFC, said: “We’re delighted to welcome back a fantastic set of teams to the Melrose Vets Tournament. With the tournament taking a year off in 2016. I’m sure they’ll all be raring to get stuck in on what is a fantastic day. The Vets is a great way to kick off the Melrose 7s weekend and spectators will be treated to some excellent rugby in a truly sociable environment.”
Mark Dainter, CEO of Crusaders Rugby, said: “We’re delighted to be returning to the Melrose Vets Tournament. As returning title holders, we’re obviously very keen for another successful day on the pitch. However, our main aim, wherever we go, is to raise awareness of the importance for men to regularly check themselves for cancer.
“The tournament is always a great competition. We hope the other teams as well as the spectators who come on the day not only have a great day out but also take on our message to ‘Front up. Talk about it, check for it, and react to the symptoms.
“In addition to the team in Scotland, we now have Crusaders teams in England, Ireland, United States and Bahrain – all working to the same ethos of raising awareness of male cancer. The Irish Crusaders will be joining us at the Melrose Vets Tournament for the first time and I think they will be a strong outfit.
“However the Crusaders’ ethos isn’t focused on the result – we have a strong tradition of sportsmanship. We’ve found this fits really well with the Melrose Vets tournament, making it a thoroughly enjoyable day out for all involved.”
The first Melrose Vets tie takes place at 11am on Friday at Battery Field pitch, Melrose.
Tickets for the Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens on April 8 are available from www.melrose7s.com or directly from Melrose Rugby Club.