HAWICK’S annual Sevens tournament has once again clashed with the SRU’s Cup Finals Day.
Supporter numbers were down at the popular April event last year when the Murrayfield showpiece was held on the same day, with local sides Hawick YM and Melrose taking numbers up to the capital.
And this year there is the prospect that the Redskins could return to contest the Shield final and be joined by Hawick Harlequins as they fight for the Bowl – should both sides gain the necessary victories in their respective competitions.
With Gala in the national semi-final of the RBS Cup there is also the possibility of Hawick losing out on the usual following from Netherdale for their Sevens tournament on April 21.
However, Greens secretary John Thorburn refused to be drawn into a war of words with the sport’s governing body and hoped the clash wouldn’t impact too greatly on them.
He told the Hawick News this week: “We’re not in the final so I wouldn’t call it a clash. It’s Gala who are in the semi-final from the Borders point of view so we just have to get on with it.”
And with regard to the possibility of the YM and Quins reaching Murrayfield, he added: “There’s that potential and they’re both in with a shout but the date has been given and we have to get on with it.
“It’s not ideal but we don’t want to get involved in a slagging match with the SRU.”
A spokesperson for the SRU defended the scheduling of their competition: “April is obviously a very busy month in the club calendar with domestic sevens tournaments and Scottish Rugby’s Cup, Shield and Bowl competitions all reaching a climax.
“We have spoken with Hawick RFC with regards to the date clash and the club has expressed a desire to ‘just get on with things’.
“Hawick won their own 7s last season on what was a tremendous day at Mansfield and we wish the club every success with their tournament this year and will be working with them and other clubs throughout the Borders to promote the Kings of the 7s circuit as part of Scottish Rugby’s commitment to give greater recognition to the fact that Scotland is the birthplace of sevens.”
n Hawick travel to Haddington tomorrow, kick off 2pm.
n Hawick YM play Kelso at Poynder Park in a friendly match tonight under the floodlights, kick off 7.30pm.