Southern squad ready to draw on vast reserves of experience

Selkirk's Darren Clapperton is among those in the South of Scotland squad (picture by Grant Kinghorn).
Selkirk's Darren Clapperton is among those in the South of Scotland squad (picture by Grant Kinghorn).

Experience could be the telling factor when the South of Scotland squad lines up for this Saturday’s inaugural Edinburgh Sevens .

The tournament, at Inverleith, home of Stewart’s Melville FP, has attracted a high quality of elite teams made up of some of the top 7s players on the circuit, including The Projecx Waterboys, Commonwealth Crusaders and The EC7 Powerbombs.

However, South coaches, Fraser Harkness and Darren Cunningham, reckon their line-up has been around long enough to adapt quickly and is full of players who know what they are doing.

The South will be in one of two pools of four, playing matches against The EC7 Powerbombs, Rex Club Red Kites and Team Tusker.

Cunningham said: “I have a lot of experience of Kings of Sevens but am also experienced in the GB elite tournament, and I think this one is going to be more like the elite games, as well as the social.

“There will be some good teams in that but it’s a bit of a lottery, as you don’t know how good the teams will be.

“We have really good experience – we have quick boys playing with us and lads who know what they are doing.

“We don’t lack experience in sevens – it’s just a matter of how well we can get them to jell together.

“The first training session will be the warm-up, but that can sometimes help.

“They know their positions and, when they are put into these positions, they can do well.” The squad, managed by Neil Hinnigan, includes:

Andrew Skeen (Kelso, captain), Ally Grieve (Melrose), Callum Marshall (Selkirk), Bruce Colvine (Melrose), Lewis Young (Jedforest), Darren Clapperton (Selkirk), Robbie Chalmers (Edinburgh Accies), Rory Marshall (Jed-Forest), Ross Combe (Hawick), Callum Young (Jedforest), Ross Nixon (Selkirk), Iain Sim (Kelso).

The South will also be taking part again in the Chester 7s tournament on June 16.

Meanwhile, Borders players Nyle Godsmark (Melrose), Darcy Graham (ex-Hawick) and Ally Miller (ex-Melrose) will be helping Scotland to retain the London HSBC World Sevens Series at Twickenham this weekend.