CJ BARNARD AND CHRIZAAN PRETORIUS
The Delta Drone TuksWomensRugby7’s team has – like most other sports – seen a drastic decrease in activity in the last few months. In spite thereof, the team has recently received an invitation to participate in next year’s Melrose Sevens tournament in Scotland.
Riaan van der Merwe, TuksWomensRugby7’s head coach, was excited when they received word that the team has been invited, and noted that “as far as I am concerned, it is one of the most prestigious events on the international sevens rugby calendar.” This prestigious tournament is regarded as the birthplace of sevens rugby and was first held all the way back in 1883.
It all started when the Melrose Rugby Football Club needed to raise money. Ned Haig, a butcher turned rugby union player, suggested playing with seven players aside, rather than 15, and shorten the match length from 80 minutes down to 15 minutes. His reasoning behind this idea, was that it would enable the Club to host eight games in a single afternoon.
Thereafter, the first Melrose Sevens tournament was held on 28 April 1883. Haig played for Melrose RFC, who defeated Gala in the final. In 2008, Haig and Melrose RFC were inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame, in honour of their role in creating sevens rugby.
TuksWomensRugby7’s sights are set on success as they prepare to fly the UP-flag high in the historic Melrose Sevens tournament.