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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 July 2006, 09:28 GMT 10:28 UK
Sevens scheme takes step forward
Hopes have grown of bringing the sevens event to Melrose
Plans to bring a round of the IRB rugby sevens to Melrose next year have come a step closer to being realised.

Scottish Rugby Union Chief Executive Gordon McKie said "further progress" had been made towards bringing the event to the Borders.

It came after a meeting of interested parties in the area on Tuesday.

Melrose is widely regarded as the home of the shortened version of the game and the international event would bring a big economic boost to the region.

After meeting with Scottish Borders Council, Scottish Enterprise Borders, EventScotland and Melrose RFC, Mr McKie expressed optimism that the town could stage part of the event.

"We have made further progress in trying to bring one of the IRB Sevens events to Melrose in 2007," he said.

"This is an exciting prospect, as Melrose would become the focus of the international sevens circuit, for the final leg of this prestigious series."

'Legal matters'

However, he said there were still obstacles to be overcome.

"We now need to move towards finalising various commercial, broadcasting and related legal matters, involving the IRB," he said.

"We cannot finally commit to the project until this happens.

"Hopefully, with a fair wind, and the full co-operation of the IRB and all concerned, we'll be able to do so within the near future."

Hopes of bringing the tournament to the Borders had previously faded after the SRU revealed plans to tackle debts of 23m.

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