Melrose ready for Sevens tournament

Rugby teams from around the world will be descending on the Scottish Borders today, ahead of the world's oldest seven-a-side competition.

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Full Report: Rugby Sevens in Melrose

A crowd of nearly 10,000 people watched the Saracens seize a narrow victory at the Melrose Sevens last night. They defeated French side Clermont Auvergne 24-22 in a closely fought match. The ball for the final was delivered onto the pitch by Grand National winning jockey, Ryan Mania from Galashiels.

Pubs in the town were packed all evening as people celebrated the biggest sporting event in the Borders. Many fans turned up in fancy dress to watch the action.

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Melrose Sevens gets underway in front of hundreds

Crowds at the Borders' biggest sporting date, The Melrose Sevens Credit: ITV News

The biggest date in the Borders' sporting calendar, The Melrose Sevens, got underway today in front of huge crowds who'd gathered beneath blue skies. Players from around the world are at the tournament.

The 2013 event is also a year of firsts in the competition's history; an Indian team will compete this weekend and also a female referee will take to the pitch.

The Melrose Sevens opens to a grand fanfare Credit: ITV News

The 7's is not just a huge sporting event for the Borders, but also an vital economic opportunity. It's the one night of the year local hotels can expect to be full with spectators keen to get a glimpse of the action.

After a long Winter which has hit the area hard, it's hoped the event will kick start the summer season for local businesses. Certainly the weather is co-operating with crowds enjoying the event so far under blue skies.

Rugby fans enjoy the game in glorious sunshine Credit: ITV News

Rugby Sevens: The history

Rugby Sevens was founded in Melrose back in 1883 and is now played internationally.

This year is the 123rd tournament and it is a big celebratory date in the Melrose sporting calendar. Melrose Sevens was first played at The Greenyards, Melrose Rugby Club's home ground.

Then ten most prestigious of the Borders tournaments make up a league competition which is called the Kings of the Sevens. Teams gain points dependent on their progression in individual tournaments.

The winner has ten points, the runner-up takes seven, semi-finalists gain five points and those who are eliminated keep three points.

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Rugby players arrive in Melrose

Rugby India team training in Melrose Credit: ITV News Border

The Borders town of Melrose has been preparing for their biggest annual sporting event.

The 123rd playing of the 'Melrose Sevens', which date back to 1883, were founded by Ned Haig and the game of rugby sevens is now played on an international stage from Hong Kong to Scotland.

The tournament brings hundreds of visitors into the town every year and shop owners have been preparing for their arrival by dressing their shop windows.

Local shop owners from Melrose are ready to welcome oversea visitors to the Borders town Credit: ITV News Border
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