Harpenden RFC to host National Pub Sevens

Pictures from last year's National Pub Sevens competition at Harpenden Rugby Club.

Pictures from last year's National Pub Sevens competition at Harpenden Rugby Club. - Credit: Archant

HARPENEDN RFC will host the annual National Pub Sevens on Sunday, August 25, at its Redbourn Lane ground.

From its origins as an occasion on which teams would gain the support of a favourite drinking place, the competition has steadily grown into a nationally recognised and respected event attracting high calibre teams such as the Army, the Royal Navy and RAF; the White Hart Marauders; Samurai and occasionally England representative teams.

And this year should be no different.

Harpenden Rugby Club president Peter Danby said: “We have had a great response this year with a number of new teams entering the competition. There will be a president’s corner where we are looking forward to welcoming our visitors.”

The introduction of rugby sevens in the Olympic calendar in 2016 is a pointer to the popularity of this form of rugby. The year before also marks a special milestone as the club will have been playing sevens for 50 years.

As to this year’s event, the Italian and German national sevens teams are scheduled to appear for the first time as well as many of the teams mentioned above.

Local hostelries are nearly always represented and this year is no exception with, for example, sides representing the Engineer, the Silver Cup and the Honey Bee.

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With 45 teams of a maximum of 48 already signed up, the number of participants is the highest it has been for several years, reflecting the ever-growing popularity of this tournament and, more importantly, the game of sevens.

Despite the presence of the top teams taking part, the fun atmosphere of the day has never been forgotten and social sides, eager for a pre-season run around, continue to be the life-blood of the competition.

The format will initially comprise leagues of three or four teams, depending on the final number of entrants. The winners and runners up of each league will then enter a knockout phase for the main Singleton Cup competition.

The losers in the first round of the cup will then play each other in the Barrel competition. The bottom placed teams in the leagues will play in the Plate competition. This results in three competitions with each separate competition containing teams of roughly equal standards.

The tournament kicks off at 10.30am on Sunday August 25 with the finals taking place around 5.30pm. Entrance is £5 for adults and free for U16s when accompanied by a adult.

There will be food and drink outlets including a barbecue, paella stall, hog roast, mobile cocktail bar and food outlets, plus sports clothing outlets which will be open throughout the day.

For more details and a full list of teams visit www.nationalpubsevens.com