Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens Announce Guests

Top southern hemisphere Club Bay of Plenty from New Zealand will play in the Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens on 14th April, where they will be joined by Singapore, Hong Kong Scottish and London Scottish

BAY OF PLENTY (The Steamers) was founded in 1911 and are returning on the 20th anniversary of winning the event in 1992 when they defeated Kelso 19 – 12 in the final. On that occasion the team was coached by the present All Blacks sevens coach Gordon Tietjens and once again he has been instrumental in their return visit to Melrose. Finishing third in the ITM Cup they are regarded as one of New Zealand’s top sides. Toby Arnold is a member of the current All Blacks sevens team whilst Tanerau Latimer, Mike Delany and Sam Cane (Richie McCaw's understudy) are involved with the full All Blacks XVs squad. Bay of Plenty is situated in the North Island of New Zealand with Tauranga being the main city in the area.



SINGAPORE plan to field their strongest development side in this their first appearance at Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens. In the spirit of assistance and cooperation Melrose RFC will invite a “developing Commonwealth rugby nation” for each of the three years prior to the Commonwealth Games being held in Glasgow in 2014. Singapore will arrive in Melrose a week prior to the event and will take part in coaching and development sessions during the time leading up to the tournament. Singapore were bronze medal winners for sevens in the South East Asian games.

Teo Ping LOW, president of the Singapore Rugby Union said: “The Singapore Rugby Union is most pleased to receive the invitation from the Melrose Rugby Football Club to attend the Melrose Sevens to be held in April.

“Being a relatively small rugby playing nation, Singapore is honoured to be given this opportunity and we look forward to the programmes that have been planned for the Singapore team to be involved in world class training and competition.

”Rugby has been played in Singapore since the 1950’s and 1960’s when the British forces were stationed here in Singapore together with the Australian and New Zealand forces as Singapore was a member of the British Commonwealth. The interest of rugby continued even after Singapore became an independent nation with the schools, colleges and universities embracing the sport and rugby has become part of the school sports curriculum. Most of the boys continue to play at club level and as of a few years ago, the girls have also taken up the sport and have participated regularly in regional competitions.

“Being the birthplace of Sevens Rugby, our players are looking forward to the visit to Melrose and to be part of that legacy. The opportunity to play and train with some of the leading sevens rugby teams around the world will also put the Singapore team in good stead for the future, particularly more so when rugby sevens is now part of the Olympic Games.

“Singapore Rugby Union has plans to participate at the Olympic level in the future and this opportunity to participate in the Melrose Sevens will not only be an eye-opener but more importantly provide an experience that will hopefully be etched into the young players to commit them to continue to improve and play to bring honours to the nation.”

David Whiteford, General Manager for HONG KONG SCOTTISH: “Verizon Hong Kong Scottish are delighted to be invited back for the Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens.  It is a great privilege for our players to travel over and experience playing at what I regard the best 7s tournament in the world.  Last year we played with a group of players drawn from other HK clubs, but this year we are able to bring our own players now that the club is fully established.  Tom Bury, Murray Allan, Niall Shannon and James Murray arrive with experience of playing in Scottish rugby.  Personally, it’s always very special to return to Melrose where I spent the 5 best years of my rugby career, even if it was slightly bittersweet watching the boys lift the trophy last year after having lost 2 finals myself.

“It’s great to see Aberdeen Asset Management involved this year as title sponsors given that they are also our tour sponsor.  Also, we are delighted that our big brothers, London Scottish, will be attending the tournament this year and it would be great if the draw allows us to meet at some point.

LONDON SCOTTISH make a welcome return to the Greenyards. They have competed in five Melrose Sevens finals, winning two of them (1962 and 1965). No doubt there will be a determination to add their name again to the Ladies Cup particularly as this is the 50th anniversary of their first victory at the event coupled with the experience of their head coach and former England sevens supremo Simon Amor. 1962 saw the Exiles defeat Hawick in the final 15 – 11.


Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens Convener, Ian Cooper, says he is delighted at the calibre of the sides his Committee has been able to attract to this year’s tournament.  “With Bay of Plenty eager to repeat their achievement of 1992, together with strong sides from London Scottish and Hong Kong Scottish I feel that any one of a dozen sides is capable of winning the tournament. Add to that the unknown dimension of Singapore and I believe we can look forward to yet another outstanding afternoon of top quality sevens rugby.”

Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, commented 'The Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens has once again drawn teams from around the World and Europe, to play in this historic game. We are proud to be supporting this unique event and I am sure that both players and spectators will be looking forward to an exciting and fast paced tournament.'

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 7s 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.”

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and Melrose is the home of rugby sevens, which makes this a particularly special event on Scotland’s sporting calendar. As a sport, sevens is growing in popularity every year and the Melrose event will continue to build on that momentum, which is particularly important in the lead up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.”

Cllr David Parker, Leader of Scottish Borders Council and local member for Melrose said: "Melrose Sevens is a very special rugby event.  It is tremendous that each year the event continues to grow and develop and once again Melrose Rugby Club have done a fantastic job in the preparation for the 2012 event.  Anyone who loves rugby loves the Melrose Sevens and Scottish Borders Council is delighted to support Melrose in any way we can in staging their annual sevens."

Davidson Chalmers Veterans Tournament

The Davidson Chalmers “Vets” tournament will take place on Friday 13 April. Following the continued success since inception, the vets tournament already has a global feel with teams from Hong Kong, The Caymen Islands and London Scottish indicating their intention to participate.

Andy Drane, Partner, said: “Davidson Chalmers is proud to once again be closely associated with the Vets tournament at this year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens, which we believe is the best event of its kind anywhere in the world. We will be working with key organisations including Melrose RFC, the SRU and EventScotland to ensure the Vets tournament repeats the success of last year where it was an opening celebration of the whole Melrose Sevens weekend.  Veteran rugby is an increasingly popular part of social rugby and it is received nowhere more enthusiastically than in Melrose, the international home of rugby sevens.”

Prize Money

Prize money will again be awarded (defeated quarter and semi-finalists, runner-up and winner) along with the Ladies Centenary Trophy and Sanderson Salver.

The Tournament will also count towards the “Kings of the Sevens” competition.

Tournament Officials

The Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens will be supervised by a team of 7 top Scottish referees – David Changleng, Rob Dickson, Iain Heard, Neil Paterson, Cammy Rudkin, Andrew McMenemy and Peter Allan supported by 10 referees’ assistants and in-goal-area judges to be appointed by the Borders Referees Society Appointments Panel from qualified referees from within the Borders area.

Junior Coaching Clinic/Youth Rugby

Melrose RFC will again host their popular Junior Coaching Clinic, now in its 29th year, on the morning of the Sevens.  The Clinic is set to attract in excess of 100 youngsters under the age of 14 from clubs and schools throughout Scotland who will be put through their paces by some of Scotland’s top coaches under the direction of Jim Telfer.

Following the coaching session the youngsters will be entertained to lunch and attend the sevens as guests of the club.

Ladies Rugby

Following the success of 2011 an exhibition sevens match will be played featuring Melrose Ladies. This will take place between the semi-final and final of the main tournament. Having been promoted last year to the top flight, Melrose Ladies have performed exceptionally well and at present lie in second place in the first division.

Corporate Hospitality

Corporate Hospitality will again be available within the Greenyards on Sevens day and will be organised by Douglas Hardie.
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The Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens Draw

The draw for the 2012 Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens will be made in the Clubrooms at the Greenyards on Saturday 24th March following the game against Aberdeen GSFP.  Members of the public wishing to attend will be made very welcome.

Tickets for the 129th annual Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens on the 14th April are available at www.melroserugbyshop.co.uk or direct from the club - concessions are available. You can also follow the tournament on Facebook or Twitter (http://twitter.com/Melrose7s) or go to www.melrose7s.com