McNeil eyes sevens as season ‘send-off’

Bruce McNeil
Bruce McNeil

All roads lead to Mansfield Park on Sunday for the 121st staging of the Johnstons of Elgin Hawick Sevens.

The latest leg of the AM/PM Kings of the Sevens series is set to roll into town, and although the tournament had to be switched to the early May date rather than the usual April slot after the Robbie Dyes reached the BT Cup final, event organisers have been working flat out to put on a special day that supporters have come to savour.

The hosts are up against Langholm in the first round, and Bruce McNeil, who made his first appearance in this year’s Kings series for the Greens at Earlston last weekend, is hoping to reward the club’s loyal supporters with an exciting day of sevens action.

“The way the XVs season ended was so disappointing, and I think the sevens has given us and the supporters a chance to heal and bring the curtain down the right way on what was a largely successful season,” said McNeil this week.

“After the BT Cup final loss I must have retreated to my bedroom, closed the curtains and hid in there for a number of days. It was a bad way to end the XVs season, so Nikki [Walker] and the rest of the boys have really targeted this weekend’s event and the sevens as a whole as a way to give our supporters a proper season send-off.

“The Hawick Sevens is always a great event, and although this year it does have a somewhat subdued feeling around it because we were forced into a date change, I’m confident the Teri faithful will pack out the stands and get down to support the

McNeil concluded: “Every team in the ‘Kings’ series gets up for their own tournament and we are no different. Last year we were knocked out by our own mistakes, so the boys are really champing at the bit to go out there and retake our title.”

Action-packed day, page 33