Melrose Rugby unveil first tranche of guest sides to compete in the Ned Haig Cup

A new and expanded format for Melrose 7s will see four different tournaments play out over the weekend catering for under-18s, women, amateur men and semi-pro men

The revamped Melrose Sevens Festival will take place over four days from 9th to 12th April. Image: ©Fotosport/David Gibson
The revamped Melrose Sevens Festival will take place over four days from 9th to 12th April. Image: ©Fotosport/David Gibson

MELROSE RUGBY have unveiled the names of nine teams who will compete in the new semi-professional Ned Haig Cup at their revamped and enlarged  Sevens festival which will run over four days from Thursday 9th to Sunday 13th of April.

ASC Dukla (The Czech Republic), Belgium, the British Army, Esprit Sud Sevens (France), 7 Fantastics (France), Seventise (France), The Southern Knights, Newcastle Falcons and Salopards (France) will all compete in the semi-pro tournament which will run in a pool format leading into a final over the Saturday and Sunday of Easter weekend.

The festival will kick-off with a ‘Question of Rugby’ event on Thursday night, when rugby stars of past and present will battle it out in a fun quiz. On the Friday, there will be an Under-18s tournament, with the traditional knock-out tournament for Scottish club teams going ahead as usual on the Saturday, and a women’s tournament on the Sunday. The four day event will culminate in a concert by Scottish rock band Big Country at the Gibson Park Pavilion on Sunday night.


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“The countdown is on to the original and best rugby sevens tournament,” said Melrose 7s tournament director Phil Morris. “We’re delighted to be expanding the event this year to include under-18, women’s, and semi-pro competitions. There’s a strong showing from France this year in the new semi-pro competition, proving the ‘Auld Alliance’ is alive and well. We’ll be announcing other teams shortly and there will certainly be some very big crowd pleasers amongst those names. So watch this space.

Over the coming weeks, Melrose will be revealing further details of all the rugby and entertainment taking place between 9th and 12th April. Given the new format and from early ticket sales information, Melrose Rugby Ltd is encouraging people to book early to avoid disappointment – especially for the Sunday which includes the new women’s tournament and the final of the semi-pro Ned Haig Cup.

Tickets for the Melrose 7s are on sale now at www.melrose7s.co.uk

Cairnhill renew partnership

Meanwhile, it was announced last week that Cairnhill Structures is continuing its support of Melrose Rugby club and the Sevens event, with a sponsorship deal which will see the company’s branding take pride of place, alongside Doddie Weir’s My Name’5 Doddie foundation, on the Melrose 7s team strip, as well as the main stand at the Greenyards  being named the Cairnhill Steel Solutions Stand with prominent branding

“Innovation is a key driver in everything Cairnhill does and so we are delighted to be involved with the Melrose 7s again this year, especially as the club has announced an innovative and inclusive new format to the event,” said Neil Watson, Group Managing Director of Cairnhill Structures.

“The Melrose 7s is a prestigious event in the World Rugby calendar. Given the new all-weather surface that has recently been installed, I am sure we will see an exciting brand of rugby at The Greenyards.

“Our business has evolved well over the decades and we wish Melrose Rugby Club every success in its ambitions for the development of this world-famous Sevens tournament.”

Gordon Brown, Chairman of Melrose Rugby Ltd, said: “We’re so pleased to have Cairnhill Structures on board as shirt and stand sponsors for the Melrose 7s. We can’t wait to put on a spectacular event that will deliver all the traditional elements that regular 7s supporters know and love, with new and exciting tournaments that will hopefully attract a whole new audience to Melrose in April.

“We’re sure the Easter weekend of rugby and entertainment will provide Cairnhill with valuable and high-profile branding opportunities and raise further awareness for Doddie’s MND foundation.”


Doddie Weir OBE and Neil Watson announce the renewed partnership deal between Melrose Rugby and Cairnhill Structures.
Doddie Weir OBE and Neil Watson announce the renewed partnership deal between Melrose Rugby and Cairnhill Structures.

Melrose Rugby reveal new vision for Sevens festival as they aim to host 2033 World Cup

About David Barnes 3112 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.