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Police urge responsible drinking at Melrose Sevens

This year's event takes place on Saturday 9th April Credit: ITV Border

Police in the Scottish Borders are asking visitors attending this year's Melrose Sevens to drink responsibly.

The tournament takes place between Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th April and every year the event attracts thousands of rugby fans.

Officers say they've been working with bar staff and door stewards ahead of the Sevens to remind employees of their licensing responsibilities.

Police Scotland say they'll be focusing on tackling underage drinking and anyone under the age of 18 who is found either within the rugby ground, on the street or within a licensed premises consuming alcohol will have their drink taken from them and may face further police action.

“This is always a really exciting time for Melrose, with several fantastic sevens teams taking part in the world-renowned tournament and thousands of spectators coming from all over to visit the area.

“We know from previous experience that our licensed premises in Melrose are well-frequented during this weekend and while the overwhelming majority of the public know their limits and behave appropriately, a small minority find themselves involved in incidents of violence and disorder that often stem from drinking too much.

“Local officers will be out on high-visibility patrols throughout the tournament to engage with the community and deter any criminal activity and we have already done a lot of work with the licensed premises within Melrose as part of our commitment to reduce alcohol-related offences.

“This will undoubtedly be an excellent weekend of rugby and the Scottish Borders provides a beautiful setting for enjoying the night-time economy but please make sure your weekend is memorable for all the right reasons.

– Mike Bennett, Police Scotland


WATCH: the history of Melrose Sevens

This coming weekend will see the population of one Borders town increase by 650% as the 125th playing of the Melrose Sevens tournament kicks off.

Lori Carnochan went to find out about the history of the game.

125th playing of the Melrose Sevens

Melrose butcher Ned Haig founded the Sevens in 1883, and his home town's tournament is still considered as the most famous in the world. This year will see the 125th playing of the Melrose Sevens.

The Marketing Convener of Melrose Rugby Club, Douglas Hardie, explains why this tournament is so special:

Sevens tickets selling fast

Every year the Melrose Sevens tournament attracts thousands of people into the sleepy Border's town.

Ticket sales can often vary, depending on the weather. However, this year has already seen a huge demand for tickets to the games and the after-party.

"This year we've already seen an excellent response to ticket sales.

"Our stands are sold out, however ground tickets will be available at the gate if somebody just rocks up and appears, we're more than happy to sell them a ticket at the gate."

– Douglas Hardie, Melrose Rugby Club

Melrose Sevens week underway

Preparations are well underway at The Greenyards Credit: ITV News Border

The official countdown has began for the 2015 Melrose Sevens tournament.

This year will see the 125th playing of the sevens, with guest teams coming from South Africa and Germany.

It's the oldest sevens tournament in the world, and attracts crowds of up to 15,000 every year.

The tournament was the brainchild of Melrose butcher Ned Haig, who held the first ever sevens in 1883. The seven-a-side game is now considered the fastest growing team sport in the world and will be included in the 2016 Rio Olympics.


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