Rugby sevens originated in Melrose in the Scottish Borders at the end of the 19th century but now has a world-wide following. Played from Argentina to Thailand, the game enjoys its own prestigious World Cup competition and is set to become an Olympic sport from 2016.
There are two great opportunities to see this style of rugby in action in Scotland.
The Scottish Borders – just half an hour from Edinburgh - is the traditional heartland of rugby in Scotland and each April, the sevens’ premier tournament returns to its spiritual home at Greenyards, the Melrose RFC ground where the tournament has been held since 1883.
Powerhouse teams from across the Scottish Borders compete alongside invitees from overseas including teams from as far afield as Japan, Uruguay and South Africa. The Melrose Sevens are the perfect platform to see some of rugby’s favourite stars in action up close.
Add to this the fantastic carnival atmosphere in Melrose itself and the added attractions laid on for the sevens weekend and you have the perfect recipe for a great day out.
After the tournament, why not take some time to explore the surrounding Scottish Borders countryside? The area is dotted with picturesque market towns, historic sites (including the great ruined abbeys) and some of the best walking and cycling to be had anywhere in Scotland.
Ticket and match details can be found on the Melrose Sevens website.
HSBC Sevens World Series
From 2012, Glasgow plays host to the penultimate round of the prestigious IRB World Sevens Series over one fantastic weekend at the start of May in Scotland’s biggest city.
The HSBC Sevens Festival is an amazing feast of rugby sevens with leading nations like Australia, Fiji, New Zealand and South Africa all in action in 44 matches over the two days. As ever, the passionate crowd roaring the players on and the atmosphere is guaranteed to be electric.
The Festival will take place at the newly revamped Scotstoun Stadium, home to the local Glasgow Warriors team and an official venue for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The stadium lies to the west of the city and is well-served by public transport: it’s a 10-minute bus journey from the city centre, a 10-minute walk from Partick Underground station while the Scotstounhill rail station is right next door.
Full details of tickets and matchday information is available on the Glasgow7s website.