The clock was turned back at The Greenyards today (21st March) as Melrose and Tynedale rugby clubs celebrated their historic contributions to Seven-a-side rugby, with the host club launching a YouTube homage to veterans rugby from a BAFTA-winning director.
Former Melrose player and Scotland internationalist Doddie Weir joined up with Steve Turnbull, a club stalwart from Tynedale in replica 19th century playing strips.
The Melrose club invented the abbreviated game in 1883, the idea being credited to Ned Haig, a player at the time. In 1894, Tynedale hosted – and won – the first-ever Sevens competition to be played in England.
Tynedale is for the first time competing at the Melrose Sevens, entering a team into the Davidson Chalmers Melrose Sevens Veterans Tournament. This year, in addition to Tynedale, other invitational sides are competing in both competitions from South Africa, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the Cayman Islands.
Tynedale RFC plays in National League 1 and has appeared in 27 Northumberland Senior Cup Finals, winning the Cup on 23 occasions. Last season, the club finished 5th in National League 1, ranking it the 29th team in England.
The event also launched this year’s YouTube video, Melrose Sevens Big Impression, directed by Robert Sproul-Cran, a celebrated programme maker who has won a Royal Television Society award and a BAFTA. The short film celebrates veterans rugby, reflecting the growing popularity of the Friday veterans event to the Melrose Sevens weekend.
Tickets for the 128th annual Melrose Sevens (9th April), priced from £20, are available online or direct from the club, and concessions are available. You can also follow the tournament on Facebook or Twitter or visiting the Melrose 7s website. Alternatively, get updates via SMS by texting follow Melrose7s to 86444.
The draw for both the Melrose Sevens and the Davidson Chalmers Melrose Sevens Veterans Tournament will take place at Melrose RFC on Saturday 2nd April.
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