MELROSE Rugby has announced exciting plans for the 2023 sevens tournament.

And they include a new pre-qualification tournament and an Under 18 Borders sevens event to be held on Friday, April 7 – before the traditional tournament kicks off the following day.

Phil Morris, Melrose Sevens' tournament director, said: “We are delighted to announce exciting plans for next years Melrose Sevens which will be the 140th year of the event and held once again on the second Saturday in April.

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“Our plans will continue to build on our role as custodians of the game of rugby sevens.

“This year the event will be preceded by two new tournaments to be held at the Greenyards on Friday, April 7. This will include a pre-qualification tournament giving an opportunity for 16 teams from Scotland and northern England to qualify and be part of the 2024 tournament.

“Many of these teams will have never had the chance to be part of the Melrose Sevens in the past."

Mr Morris added: “We are grateful to our friends at Hawick RFC who have generously allowed us to hold a Borders Under 18 tournament on Friday, April 7 for local youth teams to be part of the Melrose Sevens experience.

“This will take place instead of the usual event in Hawick which meant many of these players missed the Melrose Sevens entirely.

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“This is great news for rugby in this region, giving both clubs and youth teams in the area the opportunity to play rugby sevens at the famous Greenyards, the home of rugby sevens.

“We have already spoken to a number of clubs in the surrounding area who have never been invited to the Melrose Sevens and they are keen to be involved in the Friday knockout tournament, with the final on the Saturday evening.

“The winners will then automatically qualify for 2024 Melrose Sevens; we will be sending out formal invitations shortly and announcing the participating teams.”

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The traditional 1883 Centenary Cup Melrose Sevens tournament will be held on Saturday, April 8, with 24 participating men’s teams competing for the coveted Melrose Sevens 1883 Centenary title – along with a four-team women’s tournament competing for the newly created ‘Women’s Cup’.

Tickets for the 2023 Melrose Sevens will be priced at £35 for adults and £15 for under 18s, with children under five being free of charge.

All tickets include access to the Friday rugby, which falls on the Good Friday bank holiday.

Tickets will be available from mid-October.