MK set for biggest rugby sevens tournament yet

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Hundreds of rugby players, spectators and music fans will be at the Emerson Valley sports pavilion on Saturday (June 22) for the annual Milton Keynes sevens tournament.

More than 20 teams will battle it out on Milton Keynes Rugby Club’s pitches for the right to be crowned Hemingway Sevens champions, while hundreds of people will enjoy the Family Fun Day and live music.

Sevens tournaments organised by MKRUFC date back to the 1970s and have continued to grow. Pete Hemingway, a stalwart of the club, died of cancer in the 90s, and the competition was renamed in his memory, hence the Hemingway Sevens.

Saturday’s competition will be the largest yet, with 25 teams taking part in four pools of five teams, as well as a social tournament.

The action starts at 10am and goes all the way through to the finals for each of the various tournaments in the afternoon. The live music entertainment begins at 11.30am, but people can arrive from as early as 9am to watch the first British & Irish Lions Test against Australia in the clubhouse.

“I’m sure this will be a fantastic day of rugby and an enjoyable day for spectators, families and music lovers,” said organiser Andrew Flowers.

“In 2012 the competition was the first of a new era at the Emerson Valley sports pavilion with a record number of 20 teams attending, ranging from national league level teams down to social teams such as the MK Jagerbombers.

“With five tournaments on the day, every team had a trophy to play for, although it was St Albans-based ‘The Seven Dwarves’ who prevailed on the day for top honours in the Hemingway Shield final against Dunstable.

“They will be aiming to defend their title again this year, although they can expect tough competition from Top Guns 7s, Predator 7s and Hellfish 7s to name a few, all of which are all teams made up of semi professional players.

“This year the club will also be offering any rugby players based in the Milton Keynes area the opportunity to just turn up and play on the day through our Barbarians rugby team in the social tournament. See me at tournament control before 9.30am to join to team, or call me before on 07962 806326.”