MELROSE RUGBY have announced the dates for the 2024 7s festival early with the stated aim of trying to avoid another inexplicable clash with Super Series match scheduling.
The 2023 tournament ended up being played on the same weekend as the Super Series Sprint kicked-off in mid-April, with the Southern Knights – which is run by Melrose Rugby – playing champions Watsonians on the same day as the tournament. It was an extra complication and distraction which the club could really have done without as it battled to get the world famous tournament back up and running following two years of Covid-enforced cancellations.
The fact that Scottish Rugby scheduled the start of the Super Series Championship weekend on the second weekend in April is hard to fathom given that date has long been sacrosanct in the calendar. In keeping with that tradition, the 2024 Melrose Sevens tournaments will take place between Thursday the 11th and Saturday 13th April, and there is now 10 months for the Super Series organisers to build around that if they choose to support one of their own franchises by doing so.
Despite the scheduling clash, the 2023 tournament was a success. “This year thousands of supporters gathered at the Greenyards, the spiritual home and birthplace of Rugby 7s, to cheer on teams from near and far and experience a fantastic rugby spectacle while basking in the Easter Scottish sunshine,” said a statement issued by the club this [Thursday] morning.
‘This year’s champions, Monaco Impi’s, will return in 2024 to defend their title and will compete against an array of high calibre teams.
“The organisers will also be looking to build on the hugely popular women’s tournament, that saw The Lionesses lift the inaugural Mike Bleasdale Cup this year.
“Both ‘Early Bird’ tickets and ‘Eary Bird’ hospitality packages will go on sale soon.
Tournament Director, Phil Morris, added: “After the success of the 2023 Melrose 7s event and format, we are excited to be able to announce the 2024 dates nice and early.
“For those rugby supporters who can’t wait another 10 months for their next Melrose 7s fix, there’s a fantastic new fly-on-the-wall documentary available on YouTube called ‘Melrose: A Rugby Legacy’ that follows the 2023 event. It’s a fun and informative documentary and really captures the positive atmosphere in and around the event.
“We are already receiving a lot of enquiries from teams who would like to compete at next year’s Melrose 7s. It’s going to be another special occasion that rugby fans won’t want to miss.
“It was Ned Haig who recognised the need to be innovative all those years ago. Without his imagination and tenacity, and the support of everyone around him, the game of Rugby 7s wouldn’t exist today. We look forward to building on his pioneering spirit and reflecting on the successes of this year’s tournament as we continue to move the event forward in these changing times for rugby.”
“It is the hope of Melrose Rugby that the early confirmation of the 2024 7s dates will allow us and Scottish Rugby to avoid a clash with the Super Series event. The Melrose 7s is a fantastic opportunity for these semi-pros to show off their talents in front of a ‘home’ crowd. Many of them tell us they would love to be part of the tournament, and we’d all love it if they are able to participate in 2024.”