Teams to feature at Melrose Sevens in tribute to Eric Liddell

Teams to feature at Melrose Sevens in tribute to Eric Liddell

To mark a century since Scottish Rugby Hall of Fame member Eric Liddell ran to Olympic gold in the 1924 Paris Games, two teams are set to run out at the prestigious Melrose Sevens this Saturday 13 April.

The iconic rugby sevens event, held at the Greenyards since the inception of the abbreviated form back in 1883, has been graced with some of the game’s most stellar names, from Fijian magician Waisale Serevi to former Wallabies star David Campese and numerous others besides.

In homage to another rugby luminary, men’s and women’s squads will compete under the Eric Liddell 100 title in the 1883 Centenary Cup and Mike Bleasdale Cup respectively.

Liddell won gold in the 400m in Paris 100 years ago – with a world record time, no less – picked up a bronze medal in the 200m and passed up the chance on religious grounds to win a potential third sprint in the 100m, given heats were to be held on a Sunday.

A sporting polymath, Liddell won seven caps for Scotland in 1922 and 1923, losing only once, and scored back-to-back tries in four of his internationals. He was inducted into the Scottish Rugby Hall of Fame in 2022, to mark 100 years since a first international cap.

Liddell turned his attentions to athletics ahead of the Olympic Games in 1924, where his feats earned worldwide acclaim and would lead to, amongst other accolades, the 1981 film Chariots of Fire being produced in his honour.

It seems fitting, then, that 100 years on from those Paris heroics, teams in Liddell’s name will compete for some of the most lauded trophies in sevens rugby.

As a former student at the University of Edinburgh, it is also fitting that the current heads of that institution’s rugby programmes are leading tomorrow’s squads.

Dave Adamson, who will coach the men’s Eric Liddell 100 side, said: “Eric was passionate about his beliefs, his sport, his work and doing the right thing. He upheld the highest of integrity, even under great pressure, and I hope that the team will be able to be inspired by his incredible achievements on the pitch.”

They have a bye in the first round of the 1883 Centenary Cup and will face the winners of Shogun Rugby versus Heriot’s before a potential tie with hosts Melrose in the last eight.

And Claire Cruikshank, in charge of the women’s squad who will play the winners of Tuks v Hearts + Balls at the semi-finals stage, added: “We’re delighted to be competing in the Mike Bleasdale Cup and representing the Eric Liddell 100 campaign. It’s a fantastic way to honour the memory of Eric and bring his legacy to life.”

Eric Liddell100 squad lists for 2024 Melrose Sevens:


Jarrod Binsted (University of Edinburgh)
Cam Macdonald (University of Edinburgh)
Luca Musat (University of Edinburgh)
Freddie Nickals (University of Edinburgh)
Jack Chelley (University of Edinburgh)
Luc McNally-Drew (University of Edinburgh/Jamaica 7s)
Fin Burgess (Edinburgh Rugby)
Benjamin Roger (University of Edinburgh/Scotland u18 7s)
Dylan Wilson (University of Edinburgh)
Joe Townshend (Strathallan School/Scotland u18s 7s)
Fin Stewart (University of Edinburgh)
Jack Brown (Edinburgh Rugby)


Millie Whitehouse (Edinburgh University)
Phaedra Snailham (Stewarty Sirens)
Nicole Flynn (Edinburgh University)
Cieron Bell (Edinburgh University)
Abbe Bruce (Edinburgh University)
Eva Sterritt (Exeter University)
Hannah Walker (Edinburgh University)
Sarah Denholm (Edinburgh University)
April McKenzie (Watsonians)
Morven Thomson (Heriots)
Sam Taganekurukuru (Stirling County)
Ceitidh Ainsworth (Stirling County)

In addition, a number of Scotland internationals are in action for other teams at Melrose, including Jamie Farndale, Paddy Kelly, Jordan Edmunds, Matt Davidson and Shona Campbell.

The full draws for the 141st Melrose Sevens can be found here.

Broadcast details of the 141st Melrose Sevens, including BBC Scotland’s live coverage of the latter stages, can be found here.

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