Scotland’s leading invitational only rugby club will make a long-awaited return to the Melrose Rugby Sevens tournament this spring to compete for the 1883 Centenary Cup.
On Saturday 9th of April 2022, The Co-Ops will descend on The Greenyards once again in an attempt to reclaim the title they once held back in 1993. Several members of the that Co-Ops squad were called up to represent Scotland at the Rugby World Cup in the weeks that followed.
In keeping with tradition, The Co-Optimists will consist of both local and international stalwarts of the sevens game, combining to form an incredibly competitive side and challenge for the title of Melrose Sevens Champions once more. Coach Scott Wight announced: “As a local lad with a proud association with Melrose Sevens, I’m thrilled to be talking with a lot of great players from all over the world with a view to getting them to become Co-Optimists; and the guys are excited at the prospect of being part of our side at the Melrose Sevens.”
Coach Steve Lewis added: “As a Scot working with Major League Rugby’s New York team, I am excited to contribute to the revival of the Scottish rugby brand that is the Co-Optimists at the birthplace of rugby sevens.”
Many will remember with joy just how competitive The Co-Optimists have been over the years, producing many positive results against some top international sides, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, as well as a South African Barbarians side in 1979. Legends of the game have represented the Co-Optimists over the past 98 years, including household names such as Gavin and Scott Hastings, Doddie Weir, Arthur Smith, Sandy Carmichael, Ian McLauchlan, Douglas Morgan, Andy Irvine, Ian McGeechan, David Sole, Finlay Calder, John Jeffrey, Sean Lineen, and Rob Wainwright. Scotland’s 1984 Grand Slam winning squad have all appeared for the Co-Optimists at one time or another.
Co-Optimists President Euan Kennedy, when speaking about this year’s Melrose Sevens, stated: “It is also a particular delight to attend this year, as we know that the club are supporting ‘My Name’5 Doddie Foundation’, Doddie is a former Co-Optimist, indeed he was part of our last winning team back in 1993, so it is a fabulous opportunity for us to support him and his charity.”
The rugby events will start on Friday 8 April, with a FOSROC Super6 game between the Southern Knights and the British Army. The evening will raise money and awareness for My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.