Memory Lane | Glory at Melrose in 2014
It's been six years to the day since Glasgow Warriors emerged victorious at the prestigious Melrose 7s - Kevin Millar (@topofthemoongw) takes a look at the 10 players that guided the club to glory...
April 12 2014 was a day of double delight for Glasgow Warriors. As well as travelling to play Munster at Thomond Park in the PRO12 and emerging victorious - one of only two wins at that venue in Glasgow’s history -, the club also claimed victory at the 2014 Melrose 7s.
The squad that travelled to the Greenyards was absolutely packed with talent. All 10 players were capped 7s internationals; four would play in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games later that same year. Three were future Olympians (a fourth - 2016 gold medallist Leone Nakarawa - was on duty against Munster) and six had made, or would go on to make, their 15-a-side Test debuts.
Given the strength of the selection, it was no surprise when Glasgow comfortably beat Currie, Ayr, Heriot's and Edinburgh Accies to win the tournament. This is the group that lifted the trophy for the Warriors.
The most experienced Glasgow player in the squad, James was already a club Centurion at the time of the tournament. He would go on to rack up 125 appearances in total for the club before retiring in 2016. A few months on from winning at Melrose, he was part of Scotland's Commonwealth Games squad for Glasgow 2014. He returned to the Greenyards a year later, captaining Glasgow to their successful defence of the Ladies Centenary Cup.
Finlay had previously represented Scotland at four tournaments in the World Rugby Sevens Series during 2013/14. Not too shabby for a player who spent his whole pro XVs career in the tight-five of the pack! If injuries hadn't intervened, the compact hooker would surely have made more than the 23 appearances he did for the Warriors.
Fraser was in his first full season at Glasgow, the start of a career that has seen him become a Warrior Centurion and rack up 50 Test caps for Scotland - so far. He's the only member of the squad who has never played on the World Rugby Sevens Series, although he did feature in the European GP 7s Series in 2012.
As a wee bonus, Fraser's future competition at hooker for Glasgow and Scotland George Turner played against the Warriors in this tournament when he turned out for Heriot's in the semi-final.
Lee had only arrived at the club on loan from Edinburgh a couple of months prior to the Melrose tournament. He was the most experienced of the Scotland 7s players in the squad though. A veteran of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, he also went on to represent Scotland at the 2014 and 2018 Games as well as the World Series. He's now racked up nearly 140 appearances across the two Scottish pro teams.
Having captained Melrose to the Ladies Centenary Cup in 2011, Scott lead the Warriors to glory in 2014. In fact, there surely cannot be any more decorated 7s skipper in Scottish rugby history given Scott also went on to captain the national side to their first ever World Rugby 7s Series tournament win at Twickenham in 2016.
Mark had made his World Sevens Series debut a few months prior to the win at Melrose - and he would go on to take his 15-a-side bow before the year was out. He had a remarkable couple of years with the Commonwealth Games 7s in 2014 followed by the Rugby World Cup in 2015, then on to a silver medal at the Olympic 7s in 2016.
The American may never have made his XVs debut for the Warriors but the 'fastest man in rugby' certainly generated plenty of attention during his short time at the club. Ripping it up at Melrose was the undoubted Glasgow highlight for the experienced USA 7s international and he scored some scorching tries during the team's march to the title.
Like Bennett and Isles, Folau would go on to become an Olympian in 2016. The American playmaking kingpin had already appeared in 22 WR Sevens Series tournaments (he's now on over 70) prior to pitching up at the Greenyards in 2014. His full Glasgow debut had come a few weeks earlier, and he was also a full 15-a-side international too before playing at Melrose.
Special permission must have been granted for Niko to travel to the Greenyards for this tournament. The Warriors away game against Munster the same weekend was one of just two games he missed during 2014. Having previously starred for Fiji at the Hong Kong 7s, the maverick genius would have loved playing at the birthplace of 7s.
Rory had a couple of previous World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments for Scotland behind him and brought his muscular aggression to the pitch during the Warriors' cup run – as well as in their 2015 defence. Another who would go on to become a dual 7 and 15-a-side international, Rory's also played nearly 50 times for Glasgow.