Rugby: Magnificent sevens event on the cards

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Scottish rugby is being linked with a new international seven-a-side tournament as part of a Home Nations circuit.

Reports suggest that the circuit would be in addition to the existing nine tournament IRB Grand Prix series running annually from October to May and would help prepare players for sevens’ debut in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Part of the scheme would also be to tap into the viability of the abbreviated format where financial benefits have long been apparent, especially in the Scottish Borders which pioneered the concept.

At present, Scotland have a dedicated sevens squad who play little 15-a-side rugby.

A new competition, possibly sitting alongside the Scottish leg of the IRB sevens taking place next month at Scotstoun, Glasgow, could perhaps help underwrite that cost while it has also emerged that Scotland will be among the challengers for a $1 million tournament in Los Angeles next year.

Adding spice to the event will be the presence of a team representing American Football.

Given the lucrative nature of sevens it would certainly make financial sense to have the national team playing more regularly in order to take advantage of the boom.

Meanwhile, it is also being claimed that Scotland could pull out of the women’s Six 
Nations if the tournament is split into two divisions,

Reports suggest Scotland and Wales will withdraw if the strongest teams: England, France and Ireland, form a top division playing each other home and away.

• THE senior domestic sevens circuit gets underway at Gala (first tie 3.30pm) where there will be five Capital entries in the 12-team format drawn in pools of three.

The Gala sevens draw is: Pool 1: Melrose, Watsonians, Edinburgh Accies; Pool 2: Gala, Currie, Kelso; Pool 3: Jedforest, Selkirk, Hawick; Pool 4: Edinburgh Rugby, Heriots, Peebles.

• THE draw for the blue riband Melrose Sevens on Saturday April 13 was made at the weekend and sees Currie and Boroughmuir clash in the opening round. Stew/Mel, Watsonians, Edinburgh Accies and Heriot’s complete the Capital challenge.