Melrose Sevens is finally upon us and I don’t know about you but I am very excited about it, it’s a great day for catching up with old friends, celebrating rugby and watching a few games of super fast sevens as well.
This Saturday the world famous Sevens Tournament will be played at The Greenyards in Melrose, with teams coming from all over the world to compete, such as Tiger Rugby from Ohio and the Romanian National Rugby Union. Rugby Sevens were first introduced in 1883 by Ned Haig, a member of Melrose Rugby Club, and the sevens have been played in Melrose every year since on the second Saturday in April. Traditionally every year in the days leading up to the event a wreath is laid at the grave of Ned Haig to remember and recognise the founder of the Sevens. He would probably be amazed a the international reputation the tournament now has and the contribution it makes to the local Borders economy.
For the non initiated Rugby Sevens is when the teams of seven players (instead of 15) play seven minutes halves in replacement for the standard 40 minutes. When rugby sevens was first played in Hong Kong in 1976 this revolutionised the game into the worldwide phenomenon it is today, even played at the Olympics after being introduced at the Rio 2016 games.
Doddie Weir, one of ScotlandShop’s favourite customers, used to play for Melrose Rugby Club before he played for Scotland and is a regular attender of the Melrose Sevens, supporting his old club and often in an official capacity, usually sporting one of his iconic tartan suits and this year will be no different. A few years ago we made Doddie a special Melrose colours black and yellow outfit in the Barclay Dress Modern tartan when he was commentating for BBC Sport Scotland and you can read all about it on the blog. Doddie has told us that this year he will of course be sporting his newly designed Doddie’5 tartan suit to the sevens so make sure you look out for him and share your selfies with us!
This year we worked with Doddie to design the Doddie’5 Tartan to raise awareness for Motor Neurone Disease and you can buy Ties and Tams in this bold yellow, blue, black and white tartan to raise funds for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation. The special tartan will be hard to miss at the sevens this weekend as we have made special edition caps for the the ball boys to wear along with their kit sponsored by SCRUM magazine to show support and raise awareness for the Foundation and MND. We even got a chance to speak to one of the ball boys Luke Thomson, who told us just how excited he is about the big day:
I started playing rugby for the Melrose Mini Hornets in P1 and now a student in S1 at Earlston High School I have just completed my first season playing for the Melrose Wasps. I have many future aspirations in regards to my rugby career including playing for the Melrose first XV, a national team and one day a professional club team. I also hope to someday play in the Melrose Sevens myself. However this year, I will be running onto the Greenyards as a ball boy.
I am excited about ball boying this year because the Melrose Seven’s is a very famous and prestigious tournament and I am looking forward to playing an important role on the day. Fortunately, I know what to expect because I was lucky enough to be a ball boy last year as well. I am looking forward to a day of fast-paced, quality rugby, lots of spectacular tries, enthusiastic supporters and hopefully some decent weather! I have no doubt that it will be another fantastic day of rugby to remember at the Greenyards!
Make sure you look out for the ball boys wearing their Caps in the bright colours of the Doddie’5 Tartan and give them a cheer!
If you’re attending Melrose Sevens this weekend, we’d love to see your pictures from the event so send them into us at ScotlandShop or post them on our Facebook page. If you want to take a leaf out of Doddie’s book and add a bit of tartan to your outfit there is still time to pick up a tie or tam in our Edinburgh shop at 10 Queensferry Street before the Sevens begin.