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

Festival of rugby will be run over four days between 9th and 12th April, including a new competition called The Ned Haig Cup for Super6 sides

The Greenyards
Melrose hope to host the Sevens World Cup at The Greenyards in 2033. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

MELROSE RUGBY LIMITED have announced details of a revamped Sevens tournament which will run over four days, setting out the stall for an ambitious bid to host the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2033 – which marks the 150th anniversary of the first ever tournament at the Greenyards in 1883.

The schedule involves a concert by a ‘very well-known band’ on Thursday 9th April, an Under-18s tournament with teams from across the UK and aboard on the Friday, followed by an ‘A Question of Rugby’ themed evening with teams made up of some popular past and present rugby stars that evening, then the traditional Ladies Cup tournament on the Saturday and a new competition called The Ned Haig Cup involving Super6 teams and some guest sides on the Sunday.

The weekend will culminate on Sunday evening with a concert featuring ‘a big Scottish name’. The stated aim is to put the Greenyards – the home of the Amateur Sevens game – front-and-centre on the rugby world stage.


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“This is our Sevens 20/20 Vision”, explained Phil Morris, Commercial and Marketing Director of Melrose Rugby Ltd. “We’re going to put on a fantastic event, maintaining all the rugby traditions we all hold dear but adding new exciting competitions and entertainment.

“We want our Sevens tournament to be inclusive and fun. Whether or not you’re a die-hard rugby fan, there’s going to be something for everyone, young and old. Melrose is where Rugby Sevens was born in 1883. In 2020, we’re taking things to another level.”

Mike Dalgetty, Director of Rugby at Melrose, added: “We have big ambitions at Melrose, on and off the field. There’s a real energy and buzz about the place and it’s exciting to be part of that. We’re so proud of our heritage as the home of Amateur Rugby Sevens. We’ve proved, year-after-year, that we can put on a top-class tournament that is enjoyed by spectators and visiting teams from around the world.

“We will never take our eye off what has always made the Melrose Sevens so special. Those traditions will remain. But our 2020 tournament is going to be bigger than ever before. We can’t wait to put a spotlight on Melrose in April next year when we’ll host a vibrant new rugby event.”

The club is working with the Scottish Borders Council to ensure all logistics are managed. More information, including details of teams taking part, concert and entertainment announcements, and ticket prices will be revealed over the coming weeks.


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David Barnes
About David Barnes 1501 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

3 Comments

  1. Good ambition – hopefully the stadium won’t still look like it’s 150 years old by the time the tournament comes around. Stantions and crumbling terraces just look rank amateur and barely turn heads nowadays in the battle for coverage.

  2. Firstly, there is no preliminary round at Melrose for the past several seasons two groups of four sides have been seeded and get a bye into round two. Secondly, while many border tournaments have reverted to a pool system because they find it difficult to fill their invitation list Melrose have no problems finding 24 sides to compete. This season the Border Leagues decision to not allow the super 6 sides to participate in the ‘Kings of Sevens the Ladies Cup tournament will have a new look while the new Ned Haig trophy will see the Super 6 clubs play in a pool form tournament. While there will no doubt be those that do not agree with the changes Melrose Rugby are hoping that their proposed changes can keep rugby sevens a top class international event for years to come making change necessary.

  3. Most amateur teams that played in Melrose 7 s in the past had absolutely no chance of winning as they would likely have to play in prelim round .then would likely be up against pro team guests in first round proper
    I was wondering how it would be done next season as teams will be completely different in ability from previous years due to this super 6 farce

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