SPRING has sprung … believe it or not. The weather might make it feel like it is still mid-winter, but the Sevens season is now in full flow, with Jed-Forest picking up the first success of the calendar year at Gala a fortnight ago.
It is the big one this Saturday, with Melrose hosting sides from across the country, plus guest teams from Poland and the USA, in the 135th episode of the oldest Sevens tournament in the world at the Greenyards.
The host side will be desperate to get their name on the Ladies Cup for the first time since 2011, as the second leg of a unique league, cup and sevens hat-trick, and they they named a strong squad which is made up almost entirely of players who were involved in last weekend’s BT Premiership Grand Final success at the same venue.
However, they will face strong opposition from a number of other home-based sides, including Jed-Forest, who have been leading exponents of the abbreviated game on the Kings of the Sevens circuit in recent seasons, and were successful at Netherdale two weeks ago. Ayr and Currie Chieftains have named sides packed with leading players from the 15-aside campaign, while Watsonians and Boroughmuir will also hope to be there or thereabouts after promising showings at Gala.
The last six winners of the tournament have come from established British professional clubs – Saracens twice, Glasgow Warriors twice, Edinburgh and Harlequins – but there has been a change of tack this year, with the three guest teams somewhat unknown quantities. Poland and the USA Eagles will bring an international flavour, while a Crusaders charity guest side has stepped in as late replacements for Romania.
THE TEAMS –
Aberdeen: S Mills, D Russell, G Ryan, C Jollands, S Kaudson, B Perrott. G Walker, A Ratcliffe, D Osugo, G Young.
Ayr: B Macpherson, T Spinks, G Stokes, D Armstrong, S Lyle, C Gossman, R Hughes, C Reece, S Rae, J Bova.
Boroughmuir: C Keddie, M Walker, J Edmunds, E McKirdy, G Cannie, R Kerr, G McConnell, J Matthews, M Hare, G Welsh.
Cartha Queens Park: G Williamson, C Dickson, M Robertson, C Wicks, T Davidson, J Campion, W Burrows, J Graham, A Scott, G Davidson.
Crusaders: J Paterson, C Wilson, F Harkness, J Eagers, W Wardlaw, A Tait, B Morris, J Adamson, D Buckley, R Smith.
Currie Chieftains: B Robbins, A Hastings, C Hutchison, H Elms, J Reynolds, R Tagive, T Gordon, R Nelson, C Shiel, J Forbes.
Dundee High: G Arnott, P Hamilton, A Farquhar, A Redmayne, A Mackie, J Rutnagur, H Young, D Leese, D Mcginn, E Campbell.
Edinburgh Accies: J Sole, R Mill, R Seydak, M Love, L Hirini, R Chalmers, M Coupar, J Bruce, W Stephen, C Ramm.
Edinburgh University: E Russell, H Ryan, A Friend, N Stephen, B Smith, G Wallington, R Kent, A Dunhill, P Howard, H Hitchens.
Gala: R Howarth, S Wilkinson, C Robertson, R Jeffrey, M Faute, C Jordan, J Turnbull, R Irvine, D Nicholson, S Cairns.
GHA: A Spowart, B Addison, C King, G Mollison, J Edgar, T Brown,R Angus, D Corbenici, A Gillman, A Goudie.
Glasgow Hawks: G Adams, S Yawayawa, R McMichael, C Harrison, S Leckey, S Peffers, K Rowe, R Beattie, M New, L Brims.
Hawick: D Buckley, G Munro, A Baillie, M Tait, L Ferguson, G (Gareth) Welsh, G (Glen) Welsh, K Ford, R McLean, R Combe.
Heriot’s: S Dewar, I Wilson, C Marshall, J Turley, C Simpson, R Jones, D Crawford, D Martin, C Robertson, J Rae.
Jed-Forest: G Young, M Mitchell, R Yourston, S Goodfellow, C Young, R Marshall, L Young, B Roff, D Wardrop, E Stewart.
Kelso: M Oliver, I Sim, C Brown, A Thomson, G Mein, P Hume, A Tait, R Thomson, A RobertS, R Cooke.
Marr: R Miller, B Johnston, A Johnston, K Barreto, C Bickerstaff, R Dalgleish, S Bickerstaff, E Bulger, G Paxton, T Buchanan.
Melrose: I Moody, G Taylor, G Runciman, B Colvine, C Jackson, A Lockington, R McCann, P Anderson, F Thomson, R Campbell.
Peebles: K Brown, R Britton, M Brown, D Wills, D Anderson, R Clinch, S Stoddard, J King, D Collins, R Stewart.
Poland: R Rakowski, M Grabowski, P Wisniewski, M Plichta, D Banaszek, G Szczepanski, S Sirocki, M Zienkowicz, P Popek, D Tarnawski.
Selkirk: C Whyte, E MacDougall, J Welsh, A McColm, R Nixon, D Clapperton, C Wagman, S Hamilton, C MacDougall, C McEwan.
Stirling County: H Burr, M Emmison, J Pow, R Leishman, L Bonar, J Hope, P Jericevich, C Robertson, R Swan, K Gossman.
USA Tigers: P Blair, C Frazier, N Boyer, H Higgins, D Ferris, N Fualaau, F Talapusi, B Broselle, C Melphy, A Durutalo.
Watsonians: M Fedo, E Miller, C Scott, A Harris, A Skeen, R Steele, S McKean, C McKill, W Thompson, A Davidson.
Ladies game between semi-final and final –
Barbarians:E Wilson, D Downs, T Hammond, G Miller, A Forsyth, R Turner, G Chicot, P Muzambe, B Nelson, E Turner.
Edinburgh University: K Dougan, E Martin, N Howat, E Gallagher, L Winter, L Musgrove, R Law, L Harris, A McKelvey, L Maguire
THE DRAW –
First tie is at 11.30 am –
Currie v Glasgow Hawks
(winners v Jedforest)
Cartha v Boroughmuir
(winners v Melrose)
Heriots v Edinburgh Uni
(winners v Edinburgh Accies)
Peebles v Dundee
(winners v USA Tigers)
Kelso v Marr
(winners v Poland)
GHA v Gala
(winners v Ayr)
Hawick v Aberdeen
(winners v Crusaders)
Selkirk v Stirling County
(winners v Watsonians)