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Magnificent sevens to arrive at Shelford Rugby Club

Shelford v Kettering, Louis Mann . Picture - Richard Marsham. (15369010)
Shelford v Kettering, Louis Mann . Picture - Richard Marsham. (15369010)

Forty-four teams will be heading to the Davey Field this Saturday to take part in the first Shelford Sevens tournament of its kind.

It had initially been intended to be a festival, with live music and open to all, but after the government restrictions were extended for a month, the plans had to be altered.

Therefore, it has been scaled back to a tournament – without the music – and is a ticket-only event, but on the playing side of things, everything is carrying on as normal.

It means that there will be 44 teams in total, with 16 in the men’s social category, 16 in the men’s open section and 12 in the women’s competition.

“I’m really looking forward to it because the place is going to be, for want of a better word, packed again,” said Louis Mann, Shelford Rugby Club commercial manager, pictured above.

“We’ve got 44 teams coming from all four corners of the country, and I know that club members are eyeing the day up as a chance to come back and watch games again.”

The first game starts at 9am, and it is anticipated that the final match will finish at 8.20pm, with four pitches in use throughout the day.

“The interest was way beyond what we expected, and I think it’s because there has been so little else on,” said Mann.

“We’ve had a number of clubs enter, and typically clubs probably don’t focus on the sevens, but because they haven’t had a full season, they’ve entered a sevens team.

“We’ve had a number of sevens circuit teams entered, and maybe these would be teams that would go to the Amsterdam sevens or sevens in other European destinations but of course international travel is not easy at the minute so it’s the UK or nothing.

“Then there aren’t as many tournaments as there typically would be. We were inundated and we’ve got waiting lists on both of the men’s tournaments certainly.”

The extension of government restrictions has meant that there is a limited capacity for spectators, and extra Covid marshals and security have been needed to make sure everything is extra safe.

There will still be food vans and pop-up bars, but walk-up spectators will not be permitted.

Mann added: “Spectator tickets are still available, but there is a limited number and people will have to view from certain viewing areas and it won’t be quite as free as it was originally planned to be, but there have been some really successful tournaments in Chiswick and Maidenhead.

“The reports have been that it was as an enjoyable day as you would hope for at the moment so we’re determined to deliver the same.”

To book a ticket, visit ticketsource.co.uk/shelford-rugby-ltd/t-jngdpx.

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