Schoolboy rugby enthusiasts are in for a treat on Sunday when Merchiston Edinburgh hosts its annual Sevens Festival, which has been running since 1990. Sport is an important part of life at Merchiston and the School is particularly proud of its strong rugby tradition.
This annual festival is a highlight for the Merchiston community and this year is bigger than ever. There will be 45 teams from 17 schools and clubs and a total of 80 matches, making it the largest schoolboys’ Sevens Festival in Scotland. The tournament has been extended to cover five age groups, including U15 and U11, with the aim of inspiring the youngsters within the competition.
One of the key organisers of the festival is Merchiston’s Director of Rugby, Rob Moffat who has a wealth of experience in the game of rugby, including previously coaching the Scotland Sevens squad and touring with them all over the world: He said: “The abbreviated form of the game, which of course started here in Scotland, is growing steadily and is now an Olympic sport. We are proud of our Merchistonians who have recently gone on to represent the Scotland Sevens, including James Johnstone, Russell Weir and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne. The 7-a-side game is one where the boys can show off their skills in attack and defence and one where the team ethos is paramount.”
The tournament is taking place on nine pitches at the Merchiston’s campus on Colinton Road, starting at 11:30am. Between 1500 and 2000 spectators are expected. Amongst those looking forward to the occasion is Headmaster, Andrew Hunter who said: “Rugby is such a brilliant game for boys and is an excellent way to teach the young to become part of a team, as they work with each other unselfishly. The Sevens is an exciting way to finish the season and we do hope that all involved will have a most enjoyable afternoon.”