Melrose Sevens preview: team line-ups unveiled for the 1883 Centenary and Mike Bleasdale Cups

Monaco Impi's and Lionesses are back to defend their crowns in the 1883 Centenary Cup and Mike Bleasdale Cup

Monaco Impi's were Melrose Sevens champions in 2023. Image: Rob Gray
Monaco Impi's were Melrose Sevens 1883 Centenary Cup champions in 2023. Image: Rob Gray

THE MONACO IMPI’s are back to defend their 1883 Centenary Cup title at Melrose Sevens tomorrow [Saturday] but will face stiff challenges from some of their fellow guest sides, including the British Army (packed with Fijian talent and who won the tournament in 2022 then reached the semi-finals last year), South of Scotland Barbarians (consisting of a combination current academy prospects such as Hector Patterson and Finn Douglas alongside experienced campaigners such as Craig Jackson, and Conor and Scott Bickerstaff) and a star-studded Shogun Rugby side (featuring recent Team GB  7s players such as Jamie Farndale, Matt Davidson, Jordan Edmunds and Freddie Roddick).

Meanwhile, hosts Melrose were the only Scottish club side to reach the last eight at last year’s tournament, and it will be fascinating to see if any of the other local teams can go deep into this year’s tournament in the same way as both surprise package Currie Chieftains and Melrose did when reaching the semi-finals in 2022.

In the Mike Bleasdale Cup – sponsored by Breadalbane Finance – the Lionesses are also out to defend the title they lifted last year with a dramatic win over Hearts + Balls, who are also back for another bite at the cherry.

Tomorrow’s action kicks off with Hawick taking on Currie Chieftains in the first preliminary round match at 11.04am. Click HERE to view full the draw for this year’s 1883 Centenary Cup and Mike Bleasdale Cup competitions.

  • The Melrose Sevens festival is this weekend, kicking off with the Hall of Fame Dinner on Thursday night running through to Saturday when 30 teams will compete for either the 1883 Centenary Cup or the Mike Bleasdale Cup.
  • To find out more, click HERE.

Melrose Sevens Hall of Fame: “It’s not just for myself, it’s for all the Magnificent Seven” – Arthur ‘Hovis’ Brown

Melrose Sevens Hall of Fame: “It was lively, it was ruthless, it was relentless” – Carl Hogg

Melrose Sevens Hall of Fame: “I think they were going to surprise me with it but I kind of ruined it” – Ross McCann

1883 Centenary Cup teams –

Melrose: Patrick Anderson, Matthew Bertram, Roly Brett, Bruce Colvine, Douglas Crawford, Will Ferrie, Lachlan Gaddie, Struan Hutchison, Harry Makowski, Elliot Ruthven, Connor Spence and Hamish Weir. Coaches: Callum Anderson & Iain Chisholm

Gala: Richard Tod, Ritchie Mitchell, Ben Simmonds, Russell Kerr, Robbie Irvine, Murray Wilson, Ben Gill, Angus Dun, Callum Pate, Ethan Wilson, Dan Nicholson and Gregor Collins. Coach: Craig Dods.

Hawick: Aidan Fairbairn, Liam Sharkey, Lewis Crowford, Ryan Purvis, Grant Huggan, Sean McMichan, Fin Douglas, James Delaney, Ruaridh Macleod and Fergus Bell.

Selkirk: Aaron McColm, Andrew Grant Suttie, Josh Welsh, Callum Anderson, Hugo Alderson, Ryan Cottrell, Lachlan Ferguson, Blake Cullen, Finlay Wheelans, Ross Nixon and Robert Cook

Jed Forest: Clark Skeldon, Dan Wardrop, Finlay Scott, Robbie Shirra Gibb, Mark Glen, Owen Cranston, Lewis Elder, Josh Laing, Ben Fotheringham, Rory Marshall, Lewis Walker and Robbie Douglas.

Peebles: James Dow, Finlay Collins, Jay Coltman, Kenneth Rodger, Max MacIver, Jack Harrison, David Collins, James Hodgkiss, Jordan Charters, Chris Thomson, Callum McRobert and Cameron Boak. Coach: Greg Raeburn.

Kelso: Euan Thompson, Murray Woodcock, Frankie Robson ©, Nik Stingl, Archie Barbour, James Thompson, Angus Roberts, Andy Tait, Dwain Patterson, Angus Utterson, Cammy Thompson and Keith Melbourne.

Boroughmuir: Lewis Veitch, Jack Robertson 3. Greg Cannie, Brodie Clark, Jack Hamilton, Zander Hoskins, Patrick Atkinson, Cameron Arthur, Kyle McMillan, Fergus Jones, Gavin Lockhart and Greg Anderson.

Currie Chieftains: Matt Bradshaw, Kyle Robertson, Ross Morrison, Jack Peter, Fraser Sayres, Matthew Laidlaw, Gregor Gray, Tom Meyer, Cameron Hogg, Sam Leto, James Brown and Ross Nevin. Coach: Steven Hamilton.

Edinburgh Accies: Johnny Jones, Will Stephen, Fraser Lyndsay, Rory Brogan, Richard Mill, Alex Blair, Harvey Cameron-Barr, Ross Lile, Ben Grainger, Jamie Lynn, Matt Campbell and Ted Jones. Coach: Richard Mill.

Glasgow Accies: Ross Cowan, James Smith, Adam Ryan, Lawrence Campbell. Matthew Holland, Conor Niblock, Adam Scott, Jack McCready, Jordan Craig, Ruaridh Hood, Gregor McEwan and Rory McGinn. Coaches: Ryan Grant & Ruardh Jackson.

Heriot’s Blues: Matt Dillon, Morgan Bruce, Kit Abraham, Chris Yuill, Pete Burns, Jed Thomas, Ben Evans, Duncan Purves, Ross Burnie, Finn Carden, Fraser Gallagher and Seb Smith.

Watsonians: Stu Allison, Andrew Steven, Harry Fisher, Josh Minty, Fin Broomfield, Aaron Tait, Ross Stanley, Lewis Burns, Torquil McLeod and Ryan Coetzer, TBC and TBC.

  • The Melrose Sevens festival is this weekend, kicking off with the Hall of Fame Dinner on Thursday night running through to Saturday when 30 teams will compete for either the 1883 Centenary Cup or the Mike Bleasdale Cup.
  • To find out more, click HERE.

Eric Liddell 100: Jarrod Binsted, Alex Harrison, Finbar Stewart, Dylan Wilson, Mark Fyffe, Daniel Odejinmi, Freddie Nickals, Luc McNally-Drew, Benjamin Roger, Cameron MacDonald 11. Jake Brunner and James Gush. Coach: David Adamson.

South of Scotland Barbarians: Craig Jackson, Finn Douglas, Monroe Job, Hector Patterson, Ethan McVicker, Kerr Johnston, Conor Bickerstaff, Scott Bickerstaff, Freddie Owsley, Jaime Mata, Tiago Romero and TBC. Coach: Scott Wight.

Monaco Impi’s: Tyler Bush, Marius Marty, Jack Rampton, Blake Boyland, Conan Osbourne, Glen Bryce, Augustin Slowik, Dylan Sage, Oliver Brown, Loic Legal, Dorian Danthez and Tristan Nardi. Coach: David Bolgachvili.

Durham University: Boris Ames, Freddie Charles, Charlie Coe ©, Alex Earnshaw, Callum Grieve, Ethan Knight, Lochie Lawson, Finn Livingstone, Jonny Smith, Freddie Wooler, Billy Hull and Andrew McCall.

Lion Rugby 7s: Chris Watkins, Arun Watkins ©, J.Chamberlain-Carter 4. James Naylor, Josh Coward, Joaquin Galĺ, Trae Williams, Alex Gribbon, Max Greatwood, Hannes Adler, Lima Senetenari and Boipelo Kgatlhanye. Coach: Edward Rhodes.

OG Sevens: Elliot Morgan, Oscar Wilson, Ben Waddington, Charles Morgan, George Worthington, Ben Turpin, James Dyson, Freddy Clark, Dan Rundle, Ben Magee, Shaun McCartney and Api Bavarada. Coach: Rhys Morgan.

Assassins 7s: Josh Holt, Will James, Will Aylen, Archie Callaghan, Ewan Miller, Rory Steele ©, Vinnie Baker, Sam Williams, Tom Sadler, Jack Ferguson, Archie Russell and Henry Carling. Coach: Gabs Lowe.

Shogun Rugby: Will Glover, Will Hendy, Jamie Farndale, Tom Roche, James Reed, Ryan Godsmark, Freddie Roddick, Max Pepper, Matt Davidson, Paddy Kelly, Jordan Edmunds and Ross McKnight. Coaches: Nick Wakley & Fraser Harkness.

Hearts + Balls: James Ferguson (VC), Grant Hall, Blair Forsyth, Scott Clark ©, Stuart Kirk, Andrew Denver, Michael Jamieson, Jamie McGurk, Kyle Adams, Finlay Brown, Adam Fraser and Nathan Ross.

British Army: Sebastian Jones, Sai Vunivesilevu, Rupeni Rokoduguni, Eliza Kafoa, Virimi Seru, Uraia Uluvesi, Jamie Diamond, Waisake Laulaba, Ewen Mulligan, Akuila Nadavo, Dino Pasini and Joeli Radovu. Coach: Jo Nayacavou.



Mike Bleasdale Cup teams –

The Lionesses: Lizzie Musa  Lisa Boot, Noa Donkersloot, Karina Gauto, Jasmine Rampton, Giselle Chicot, Rebecca Lacey, Gesine Adler, Elisabeth Ebb, Bobbie Haywood ©, Pippa Robinson, Thea Sylvester. Coach: Alex White.

Shogun Rugby: Mariet Luijken, Isa Prins, Esme Ligtvoet, Jordan Heil, Sian Davies, Emma Hennessy, Danai Mugabe, Molly Gardner, Seren Singleton, Mary Nelson, A.N Other and A.N Other

Hammerhead 7s: Abi Evans, Anezka Sladkova, Ellie Konopka, Eloise Haywood, Emma Mundy, Georgie Lingham, Hollie Williams, Keira Deeks, Isabella Hannay, Laurie Harries, Megan Gaffney and Tess Braunerova. Coach: Albiee Tayedzerwa.

Eric Liddell 100: Merryn Gunderson, Phaedra Snailham, Lucy MacRae, Nicole Flynn, Julie Doležilová, Cieron Bell, Eva Sterritt, Hannah Walker, Sarah Denholm and Rhea Clarke. Coach: Claire Cruikshank.

Heart + Balls: Bryony Nelson ©, Hannah Chrisp (VC), Mary Nelson, Freya Walker, Lucy Winter, Hannah Smith, Pearl Kellie, Lisa Martin, Hannah Ramsay, Sky Phimster, Claudia McLaren and Laura Buckingham.


Melrose Sevens Hall of Fame: “It’s not just for myself, it’s for all the Magnificent Seven” – Arthur ‘Hovis’ Brown

About David Barnes 3997 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The 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.


  1. A cast of contrived nonsense. What’s next – the Little Mix 7 or Girls Aloud Select? At least the Manic Street Preachers have a proper rugby connection down at Blackwood in Wales!

  2. It seems an odd kind of ‘reward’ for the defending champions to be handicapped by being required to play an extra tie compared to almost all of the other non-club sides and the hosts.

  3. That Melrose squad is nothing like the squad that has been announced on Melrose instagram today , now completely confused ?? Melrose also announced yesterday that Stirling County had withdrawn. Maybe a bit fact checking required ?

  4. Hawick v Currie at Mansfield .
    It’s a no brainer for me.
    I can take my chairs and my sandwiches there without any bother from jobsworths

  5. Finger on the pulse TOL…. , it was announced yesterday on Melrose 7’s insta that Stirling County had withdrawn – assume because they are one of the 6 club sides who have a cup game on Saturday The other 5 clubs are fielding 2XV 7’s….
    No club side will make the semi’s. Melrose obviously fixed their draw to try and ensure progress but that’s backfired as they will meet the Shogun in the QF , that is of course if Melrose manage to win their first game against what looks like a pretty decent Selkirk 7 which on paper is probably one of the stronger club 7’s on show.
    From the QF’s onwards it will be the battle of the journeyman 7’s teams that nobody has a clue about or cares about …

    • That’s it the pub sides that wouldn’t be out of place in a beach 7s in Devon. Nobody cares about them but Melrose obviously love them. Club games more attractive today.

      • And yet there was a capacity crowd to watch teams that according to you nobody cares about. Probably best not to try to speak on behalf of others if you don’t want to continue to look foolish.


Comments are closed.