Melrose Inducted To Hall Of Fame

Melrose rugby club and rugby sevens pioneer, Ned Haig, have been inducted into the International Rugby Board's Hall of Fame.



The Borders pair were inducted after a process that started with an extensive list of around 30 candidates from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries posted on the IRB website for public debate and voting.

The Hall of Fame judging panel, convened by IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset then selected Melrose and Ned Haig as two of the five inductees for 2008 alongside illustrious names such as the 1888 Natives Team of New Zealand and their captain Joe Warbrick, British Lions legend Dr Jack Kyle, Argentina great Hugo Porta and France’s record breaker Philippe Sella.

Douglas Hardie, marketing convenor at Melrose rugby club, said: "Obviously the club is delighted , it s a great honour be inducted to the hall of fame and having just celebrated our 125th anniversary it s been a very significant year for Melrose rugby.

“We’re very grateful to the IRB for nominating and awarding us this accolade."

Earlier this year Melrose celebrated 125 years of its famous Sevens tournament and, as the birthplace of Sevens, Melrose has welcomed some of the world’s best players over the years to a competition that is renowned the world over.

Ned Haig, the Melrose butcher, invented the abbreviated game in 1883 when he suggested that Melrose should host a sports tournament to help bolster club funds.

He drew up an abbreviated form of the game that year and on 28 April, 1883 Sevens Rugby was born and has since been enjoyed the world over.

Lapasset added: “True to the spirit of the game and rugby’s unique values, the 2008 inductees are individuals, clubs or teams who have left an indelible mark on the world Game, its development and history.

“All the nominees put forward by the public vote were all worthy of high praise for their achievements and impact on the Game, truly highlighting the rich history that Rugby has. It took some time to select the five nominees.”

The 2008 induction ceremony was the third IRB Hall of Fame induction. The inaugural induction in 2006 saw William Webb Ellis and Rugby School inducted, while in 2007 there were five inductees with Pierre de Coubertin, Dr Danie Craven, Sir Wilson Whineray, Gareth Edwards, and John Eales all admitted into the IRB Hall of Fame.