Singapore at Melrose 7s

MELROSE Sevens will have a Far Eastern flavour this year after Singapore were unveiled yesterday as the latest guest team to join the annual rugby carnival at The Greenyards on 14 April, writes David Ferguson.

Hong Kong Scottish will also return to the Aberdeen Asset Management-sponsored event as the club, managed by former Melrose and Scotland age-grade cap David Whiteford, continue to pilot the development of rugby with links across the world. London Scottish and Bay of Plenty are also on the guest list, as revealed in yesterday’s Scotsman, on the 50th and 20th anniversaries of their tournament trioumphs, or the first of two in the London club’s case.

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Melrose announced that the invitation to Singapore was part of a growing relationship with the IRB and world rugby to play their part, as the home of sevens, in widening the appeal of the abbreviated game in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and Olympic Games in Rio in 2016, where sevens rugby will make its debut in the global event.

Melrose have agreed to invite a “developing Commonwealth rugby nation” for each of the three years prior to the Commonwealth Games in 2014, and Singapore, the bronze medal winners for sevens in the South East Asian games, will arrive in Melrose a week prior to the event to take part in coaching and development sessions during the time leading up to the tournament.

Joining the four guest sides will be hosts Melrose, Borders clubs Gala, Hawick, Jed-Forest, Kelso, Langholm, Peebles and Selkirk, and Boroughmuir, Currie, Edinburgh Accies, Heriot’s, Stewart’s Melville and Watsonians from Edinburgh, alongside Glasgow clubs Hawks, Whitecraigs and Hamilton, and Aberdeen GSFP, Dundee HSFP and Stirling County from Caledonia.