Craigs set for Melrose

Happier times for Whitecraigs.
Happier times for Whitecraigs.

WHITECRAIGS are set to appear in the world’s oldest rugby sevens tournament alongside some of the best sides in rugby.

Rugby sevens was founded in Melrose in 1883, in this year’s competition on April 14, Craigs will face off against top southern hemisphere club Bay of Plenty from New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong Scottish and London Scottish.

Ian McLauchlan, SRU President said: “Scottish Rugby wishes Melrose RFC all the very best for the 129th playing of their sevens tournament.

“Melrose gave the game of seven-a-side rugby to the world and now the world embraces the invention of butcher Ned Haig.

“With the HSBC Sevens World Series once again being held in Scotland this May — at a new venue of Scotstoun in Glasgow — and excitement building towards the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the opportunity to attract newcomers to our sport through sevens has never been greater.

“Melrose have always been in the vanguard of protecting and enhancing the abbreviated game and I feel sure that will continue in style at this April’s tournament”.

Craigs coach Jim Henderson is delighted with the opportunity.

He told ExtraSport: “We are going to start specialist sevens training. It’s a real honour to be invited and we will give it our best shot.

“We have a lot of players who really thrive in a sevens’ environment and hopefully we will be able to pull out a few surprises”.

In the meantime, Craigs still have league and cup business to attend to, with a game against Glasgow Hawks tomorrow night in the West cup first on the agenda.

Kick off at Old Anniesland is at 8pm.

On Saturday, Craigs boosted their hopes of clinging on to a place in Premier 2, with a 26-20 bonus point win against Glasgow rivals Hillhead Jordanhill.

Coach Henderson added: “After playing terribly in the first half, the boys really focused in the second half and it showed great character to pull such an impressive win out the bag.

“Tomorrow night will be a real challenge, but we are ready for everything Hawks are going to throw at us. We know they play fast expansive rugby with lots of counter attacks and we will do out best to prepared for that”.

GHA are without a game till they face Kircaldy at Braidholm on February 11, however Cartha are in action this week when they travel to Motherwell to face Dalziel (KO 2PM).