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Gregor Townsend 'excited' by Scotland's RWC draw

Gregor Townsend Credit: PA

Scotland's Head Coach, Gregor Townsend, says he's excited that his team will play hosts Japan in the 2019 Rugby World Cup pool draw.

The former Gala player takes over from New Zealander Vern Cotter, who coached Scotland to their highest ever ranking of fifth in the world following a successful Six Nations Campaign.

The boys in blue will also face 2016 Six Nations Champions Ireland in Pool A, whilst England were drawn with France and Argentina.

"The first reaction is one of excitement that we know which pool we’ll be in. The Rugby World Cup now comes in to sharper focus for everyone and it looks, from the draw today, like it’s going to be another great tournament.

“It’s a new venue for the World Cup and I’m sure there’ll be a lot of interest in our Pool draw, especially when we get there, because we’re taking on the host country.

“The 2015 World Cup was a great tournament with some brilliant rugby played and I’m sure the next one in Japan will be even better.”

– Gregor Townsend, speaking to Scottish Rugby

Pool A will be completed by and the remaining group qualifiers ‘Europe 1’, and the ‘Play-Off Winner’.

The pool draws are as follows:

  • Pool A: Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Europe 1, play-off winner
  • Pool B: New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Africa 1, repachage winner
  • Pools C: England, France, Argentina, Americas 1, Oceania 2
  • Pool D: Australia, Wales, Georgia, Oceania 1, Americas 2

Melrose clinch penultimate 7s tournament at Selkirk

Watsonians have already won the overall Kings of the Sevens title. Credit: ITV Border

Melrose were able to fight off hosts Selkirk to lift the trophy on Saturday's penultimate Kings of the Sevens tournament.

The Rose came out on top with a 29-24 victory to lift their second tournament win of the season.

Hundreds of spectators turned out on the sunny day to see the teams compete and Melrose's Ruairi Campbell was named player of the tournament.

Watsonians have already claimed the overall Kings of the Sevens title and will be presented with the trophy next weekend at Jed-Forest.

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Borders rugby great announces retirement

Kelly Brown Credit: PA

Former Scotland rugby captain Kelly Brown has announced he will retire at the end of the season.

The back-rower's career flourished with Melrose RFC as an 18-year-old, before he went on to play for the Borders Reivers, Glasgow Warriors, Saracens and Scotland.

The 34-year-old earned 64 caps for Scotland and captained the side on 14 occasions.

"I always knew this day would come and it seems like only yesterday i was pulling on the black and yellow of Melrose RFC.

"I have played for four clubs who i care deeply about and to have been able to captain my country is an honour that ill always cherish.

"I've been lucky to have been able to live my dream for 13 years and now i'm privileged to be able to help others do the same."

– Kelly Brown

Fellow rugby players have been paying tribute to Brown's career on social media, including 2017 Six Nations Player of the Tournament, Stuart Hogg.

WATCH: Hawick rugby club appoint new head coach

Hawick Rugby Club have announced that Darren Cunningham will be their new Head Coach.

Cunningham has been in charge of Jedforest and Kelso in recent times, but replacing Nikki Walker at Hawick could be his biggest challenge yet.

Hawick's future in the Premiership league is uncertain, as they finished second from bottom this season.

They have to beat Edinburgh Accies in a play-off match on 29 April at Lasswade, to survive in the top flight of Scottish Club Rugby.

Cunningham told ITV Border of his pride at being given the Hawick job, and said he wants to make them a "dominant force" once again.

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