SEVEN artistically decorated fibreglass sheep will make their public debut at the Melrose Sevens 2023, as part of the ‘Flock to the Show’ art trail, commissioned in celebration of Golden Shears Sheep Shearing and Woolhandling World Championships 2023 which is being held at this year’s Royal Highland Show from 22nd to 25th June 2023.
Included in the Flock to the Show Seven team, at the Melrose Sevens is one special member who has been painted in Doddie tartan in celebration of the great Doddie Weir, a stalwart of Melrose and Scotland rugby who recently lost his courageous fight with MND.
Alisdair Caulfield, Sponsorship & Fundraising Manager of the Royal Highland & Agricultural Society of Scotland, said: “We are thrilled to be able to debut some of our specially commissioned ‘Flock to the Show’ sheep at the Melrose Sevens in the build-up to the 2023 Royal Highland Show and we hope they bring a smile to people at the event. We are especially pleased that our ‘Doddie’s Sheep’ can captain our seven’s team, which seems really fitting given Doddie’s strong connection to the club and the borders community.”
Phil Morris, Tournament Director of Melrose Sevens, added: “It is really kind of the RHASS to allow us to display the seven sheep sculptures at this year’s Sevens and we know they will add a dash of colour and fun to our event. We look forward in particular to meeting ‘Doddie’s’ sheep and hope that this will further encourage fans and guests to donate to the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation which is the nominated charity of this year’s event.”
The sheep will be on display from Thursday 6th April in the Food Village on Gibson Park. The Thorburn Group sheep handler demonstration will take place on the Friday morning, and the flock will make the small journey across the road to the Fanzone at the Greenyards where they will be on display on Saturday 8th April.
Scotrail have laid on six extra trains from Tweedbank to Edinburgh Waverley after the final of the Melrose Sevens 2023, this coming Saturday.
With the final finishing at 7.50pm, spectators returning to the capital will be able to catch a train home at 8.30pm, 9.04pm, 9.25pm, 10.25pm or 11.19pm.
Phil Morris, Tournament Director said: “Over half the attendees at the Melrose Sevens actually come from out-with the Borders and ensuring that they can all get home in comfort is a really important part of their day out at the Sevens so in conjunction with the great work that Border buses do in shuttling fans from the Greenyards to Tweedbank station we couldn’t be more pleased that Scotrail have taken such positive action, a big thank you again to them”
Merchiston Castle School is to be the lead sponsor of the long-running Junior Coaching Clinic at Melrose Sevens, which offers over a hundred 11 to 13 year olds from Scottish schools and rugby clubs the chance to train on the Greenyards, and then to take their place as spectators for the GoFibre Pre-Qualification Tournament and the Under 18s Melrose Wasps 7s Tournament.
Roddy Deans, Merchiston’s Director of Rugby said: “We have a long history of nurturing rugby talent at Merchiston. Over 70 of our former pupils have gone on to play senior international rugby over the years. We aim to instil healthy habits and a love of sport, teaching valuable life skills around teamwork and resilience. That’s why is gives us great pleasure to be sponsors of the Junior Coaching Clinic. This is a fantastic inclusive initiative from Melrose. It will be something special that all the players will remember for a long time.”
Phil Morris, Melrose 7s Tournament Director added: “Part of the reason to expand the Melrose 7s this year was to recognise and celebrate the rugby talent coming up through various youth programmes. This partnership with Merchiston School is incredibly important as we look to engage with and encourage the rugby stars of the future. Their support has been fantastic. We are looking forward to working with them.”
Tickets for the Melrose 7s are on sale now at www.melrose7s.co.uk