Scotland 7s players will be out in force at Melrose tomorrow for the annual Melrose 7s tournament at The Greenyards (Saturday 12 April), part of the Kings of the Sevens circuit. The first kick-off of the day is at 11.30am.
Head coach, Stephen Gemmell, has released ten players from his squad, six of whom played in the Hong Kong Bowl winning side a fortnight ago, to play at the birthplace of the abbreviated game with their clubs.
For Mark Robertson, it’ll be a trip to his hometown and the club in which he grew up. He is able to play for Melrose through the RBS Premiership pro-player draft that states a club can select up to two professionals as part of their 12-man sevens squad.
Robertson said: “I love going back and having the chance to play for Melrose. I haven’t played at the sevens for almost five years so I’m really looking forward to it.
I’ll be part of a really good team with some strong players, we will be hoping to get at least get a semi-final, but you never know what can happen.
The event will provide valuable game time for the players ahead of the eighth leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series in three weeks time, when the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s returns to Scotstoun for its third year (Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 May).
This week, the Scotland 7s players had a joint training session with the Glasgow Warriors 7s team that will compete at Melrose tomorrow and undertook three seven minute games.
Robertson continued: “There is no better preparation than playing seven on seven rugby, the real thing. Playing at Melrose and against Glasgow Warriors during the week gives me important game time ahead of our home tournament and some contact work.
It has been enjoyable playing against Glasgow, with boys like Niko [Matawalu] and Carlin [Isles], and has given us a new opposition to play at Ravenscraig. It has been a good challenge.”
The players will also be making visits to the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s promotion stand at The Greenyards, so there’ll be a chance for supporters to check-in and catch-up with the team.
Melrose currently lead the way in the Kings of the Sevens circuit after winning the opening round at Gala last weekend.
Scotland 7s players released to play at the Melrose 7s (Saturday 12 April): Lewis Young (Jed-Forest), Gregor Young (Gala), Mark Robertson (Melrose), Michael Maltman (Heriot’s), James Johnstone (Hawick), Scott Riddell, *Alex Glashan, *Chris Dean (all Edinburgh Accies), Colin Gregor and *Neil Herron (both Glasgow Hawks).
*Denotes Elite Development Player not included in pro-player draft