Founders of Seven-a-Side Rugby
Glen Ord Melrose Sevens 1999
Villager RFC, founded in 1875, is South Africa's oldest Club and have provided their country with some forty internationalists including such "Springbok Greats" as Doug Hopwood, John Gainsford, Morne du Plessis and "H.O." de Villers.
Of the squads which played at Melrose in 1994 and 1995, four players have gone on to become "Springboks" - Stand-off Joel Stransky; centre Christian Stewart; Full-back Percy Montgomery and Herschel Gibbs, albeit the latter's elevation was to the South African cricket side.
Known locally as the "Maties", the name of Stellenbosch is forever is forever synonymous with that of Dr. Danie Craven, their Life President from 1947 until his death in 1993. Third oldest of South Africa's Rugby Clubs, Stellenbosch is arguably the biggest club in the world with some 1400 registered players and regularly turning out 80 teams weekly.
The Club has produced upwards of 150 internationalists including 14 who have captained the national side.
Stellenbosch played at Melrose in 1996 and again in 1997, reaching the final on their earlier visit when they lost out to Watsonians 26:42 in an exciting, high scoring tie.
Of the squads who have played at Melrose, two players - Three-quarter Breyton Paulse and Back-row Forward Bobby Skinstadt have gone on to become "Springboks", the latter having captained the side in some of South Africa's recent UK tour games.
Ireland's equivalent of the Barbarians, the Wolfhounds have participated in Melrose Sevens twice - in 1991 when, led by Paddy John, they emerged as popular winners, overcoming Kelso 28:12 in the final, and again in 1992 when Kelso got their revenge defeating Wolfhounds 30:18 in the second semi-final.
Cambridge have also appeared at Melrose on previous occasions and were tournament winners in 1960. In 1997 they again reached the final to lose 17:43 to an outstanding Melrose side.
The current Cambridge side is coached by Tony Rogers and, following a tremendous victory over arch-rivals Oxford in the 1998 "Varsity" match, are keen to go one step better at the Greenyards in 1999.
The Sevens also feature in the Lowland Insurance 'King of the Sevens' League where the prize pool is £17,000.
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Melrose RFC: Melrose Sevens 1999 - 1999 Results and Reports - Sevens 1999 Gallery - Melrose Sevens 2000