THE invitational Scottish rugby union club, affectionately known as The Co-Optimists will be returning to the Melrose Rugby Sevens tournament on Saturday 9th April 2022 to compete for the 1883 Centenary Cup.

 The Co- Optimists, have had many greats of the game play for the side, including local legend Doddie Weir, and notable other internationals such as Finlay Calder, Jonathan Davies, John Jeffrey, as well as Gavin and Scott Hastings.

The team last won the Melrose Sevens in 1993, when Doddie was a key player for the team.

Co-Optimists President Euan Kennedy said “We are delighted to accept an invitation from Melrose Rugby to attend this year’s Sevens event. It is our intention to bring an exciting and very competitive side to the Greenyards, with a number of high-profile names in keeping with our tradition. The team will be co-coached by Steve Lewis and local Melrose stalwart Scott Wight.

“It is also a particular delight to attend this year, as we know that the club are supporting My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, Doddie is a former Co-Optimist, indeed he was part of our last winning team back in 1993, so it is a fabulous opportunity for us to support him and his charity.”

Featuring for the Co-optimists will be Kenyan rugby 7s star Collins Injera who currently holds the second place for number of tries scored on the World Rugby Sevens Series with 279.

He represented Kenya in Rugby Sevens at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics – becoming one of only a handful of players across the globe to have played in both the 2016 and 2020 Olympics.

Injera is also the first Kenyan rugby player to represent the country in three consecutive World Cups and three consecutive Commonwealth Games.

Also playing will be South African rugby legend Cecil Afrika who’s one of the most celebrated Springbok sevens player of his generation.

England 7’s legend Tom Varndell who is one of the quickest wingers in the game, has had caps for England 15’s and England sevens and is known for his prolific try scoring rate will also make his Greenyards debut.

He currently plays on the wing as a player-coach for Bury St Edmunds and has represented other Premiership Rugby sides including the Bristol Bears and Wasps. He is currently the leading try scorer in Premiership.

Cecil Afrika and Collins Imjera will be in action at the Greenyards on SaturdayDoddie'5 Co-Optimists

Melrose Sevens Tournament Director Phil Morris said, “We are excited to see the Co-Optimists return to the Greenyards, we know they will be bringing a very competitive team and entertaining squad for everyone to enjoy.”

Scott Wight added, “As a local lad with a proud association with Melrose Sevens I’m thrilled to be talking with a lot of great players from all over the world with a view to getting them to become Co-Optimists; and the guys are excited at the prospect of being part of our side at the Melrose Sevens. We look forward to revealing the players in due course”

Melrose RFC are also offering kids the opportunity to meet Collins and Cecil as part of a very special coaching session. This unique training session will be held at The Greenyards on Thursday 7 April.

Commencing at 14:00 both Kids and parents are invited to watch an hour training session featuring Co-optimists stars before participating in a fun kids coaching session from 15:00-16:00 led by Southern Knights Coach Bruce Ruthven featuring Cecil and Collins.

This event is FREE and open to all P6,P7 and S1 kids in the Scottish Borders, it will take place on the 3G pitch.

Book here: https://melrose7s.co.uk/news/melrose-sevens-coaching-session/