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Last Updated: Monday, 22 May 2006, 11:45 GMT 12:45 UK
Hopes grow for Melrose Sevens bid
The World Sevens could be worth millions to Melrose and the Borders
Scottish rugby chiefs believe part of the IRB World Sevens competition can still be brought to Melrose.

Hopes had faded after the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) unveiled plans to tackle debts of 23m.

After a meeting with interested parties, SRU chief executive Gordon McKie expressed "cautious optimism" on bringing the event to the Borders.

He added that this would have a major impact on rugby in the area and the local economy as a whole.

Mr McKie met representatives from a range of bodies to discuss making the Borders town one of the final legs of the IRB Sevens.

The move could see Melrose secure a spot on the sevens circuit for five years.

'Direct support'

The SRU chief said this would underline a commitment to the seven-a-side game despite its current financial problems.

"There is a willingness amongst our stakeholders to invest and offer other direct support to help make such an event a success," he said.

Mr McKie stressed that the SRU, while leading the plans, could not afford to commit funding.

However, he said the expertise existed to allow the project to move forward and see "the spotlight being shone on Melrose once more".

"I am excited about the prospect that this might become a reality," he said.

A steering group is being set up to take the proposal forward.

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