Melrose Sevens 2023: Who is playing, Hall of Fame inductees, how to watch
Over the last couple of years since missing 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, Melrose Sevens tournament director Phil Morris has looked to grow the event and make it more commercially fruitful for the club. As a result, this year’s three-day offering began on Thursday evening when Kelso’s Eric Paxton, GB Sevens Lisa Thomson and Kenya Sevens Collins Injera were inducted into the Melrose Sevens Hall of Fame at a dinner held at The Greenyards.
Many will remember Paxton back in the day playing with his socks down and helping a superb Kelso team win the event seven times between 1978 and 1989 while Thomson, the 25-year-old from Hawick, has had an amazing career to date in the abbreviated game. She has already been to an Olympics and a Commonwealth Games while she has 49 Scotland XVs caps to her name and started her senior rugby journey at Melrose. Injera is second on the all-time highest men’s try scorer list of the World Sevens series with an outstanding 271 tries.
On Friday there was a competition played involving clubs looking to earn a spot in the draw for the main tournament come 2024. The final of that event will be played at 6.32pm today. Also yesterday, the under-18s tournament took place with the youngsters battling it out to win the inaugural Jim Telfer Cup.
As well as a youth coaching clinic, all of that made for a busy Friday, but Saturday will be even busier. There will be action on The Greenyards main pitch from 11am right through until the main final at 7.30pm. In the main event, 24 men’s teams will battle it out to lift the Ladies Cup. Sixteen teams will play in the preliminary round and then eight teams, including the hosts and the British Army who are the holders, will enter in the first round.
Fifteen of the teams involved in the knock-out event – Boroughmuir, Kelso, Edinburgh Accies, Jed-Forest, Gala, Watsonians, Peebles, Stirling County, Heriot’s, Hawick, GHA, Selkirk, Marr, Currie Chieftains and Melrose – are Scottish club sides. The other nine are guest teams in the shape of Stunts, Hearts & Balls, Speranza22, London Scottish Lions, Monaco Impis, Samurai, Lions Rugby 7s, the British Army and Wild Dogs. In the Melrose squad for the event there are some familiar names with Hamish Weir and Luke Townsend, the sons of Doddie and Gregor respectively, involved.
The three-team women’s event – featuring Durham University, the Lionesses and Hearts & Balls – starts at 3.48pm and ties will be interspersed with the men’s ones until a final at 7pm.
A live stream of the whole day will be available via the Melrose Sevens YouTube channel for those of you who cannot make it to the Borders.