Uni sides will renew rivalry at sevens showpiece tournament

St Andrews Rugby Captain Scott Docherty and Edinburgh University Captain Nick Stephen help to promote the Scottish Varsity match between St Andrews and Edinburgh University. Pic by Scottish Rugby/SNS
St Andrews Rugby Captain Scott Docherty and Edinburgh University Captain Nick Stephen help to promote the Scottish Varsity match between St Andrews and Edinburgh University. Pic by Scottish Rugby/SNS

Two of Scotland’s ancient universities,The University of Edinburgh and the University of St Andrews, are set to clash for the first time at The Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens.

The match between the university rugby sevens teams will take place prior to the 2017 sevens final in front of a crowd of thousands at the Greenyards on April 8.

The 2017 tournament is expected to be hotly contested with guest teams from Western Province (RSA), Sweden, Co-optimists and Harlequins joining Scottish clubs in competing for the coveted Melrose Sevens Ladies Cup.

Trevor Jackson, President of Melrose RFC, said: “The prospect of having two of Scotland’s ancient universities add to the exceptional atmosphere at the 2017 Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens is truly exciting.

“This is a must-see match for students, alumni and rugby enthusiasts alike.

“In this year of history, heritage and archaeology we are particularly delighted to welcome both the University of Edinburgh and the University of St Andrews to the birthplace of the Sevens, and to celebrate the legacy of Ned Haig.”

David Ross, director of rugby, University of St Andrews, said the university was “delighted” to accept the invitation to be part of the sevens this year.

“To showcase our rugby programme in front of a huge crowd is something we are used to with the Scottish Varsity match at BT Murrayfield but to get the opportunity to play at the home of 7s in such a prestigious and world class event a special honour for our club,” he added.

“We would like to thank Melrose RFC for recognising the student game and the quality rugby programmes that both St Andrews and Edinburgh have in place.

“The players are very excited to once again challenge themselves in the oldest university rivalry in the world and promise to put on some stunning 7s to entertain the crowd.”

Councillor David Parker, leader of Scottish Borders Council, said: “Melrose Sevens seems the perfect setting for two of Scotland’s oldest universities to face each other.”