XV-a-Side: Calls for Forth Valley Sevens tournament to make 'sensible' return

Who is this former Welsh stand-off and Question of Sport captain, pictured in 1955? (Photo: Getty Images)Who is this former Welsh stand-off and Question of Sport captain, pictured in 1955? (Photo: Getty Images)
Who is this former Welsh stand-off and Question of Sport captain, pictured in 1955? (Photo: Getty Images)
Here is this week’s XV-a-Side column, created in partnership with Rugby Memories Scotland.


Last week’s mystery player was John Rutherford. And it was true - Murrayfield is currently the biggest stadium in Scotland with a capacity of 67,144. The largest football stadium is Celtic Park which holds 60,411.


Falkirk’s planned programme had to be redrawn after the expulsion of Strathmore from the National Cup for fielding an ineligible player in three matches this season.

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Their cup opponents Gordonians were reinstated. As cup games take priority, the knock-on effect saw league fixtures having to be rearranged at short notice. At this rate, Falkirk look likely to be playing well into April or even May.


There was an interesting discussion last week about Sevens tournaments and some of the older players remembered the Stirling County tournament that used to be held in Bridge of Allan.

It attracted some famous names and one ex-player recalled facing the likes of David Rollo, the former Scotland prop. Given the huge gaps in the rugby calendar, is there a case for the revival of a local Forth Valley Sevens tournament?

Stirling, Bannockburn, Alloa, Hillfoots, Grangemouth, Falkirk, Linlithgow and Bo’ness would give plenty of local interest and not incur much in the way of travel.

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Back in the day, the Walter Gowans tournament for fifteens was a great way of promoting local rugby and big crowds were recalled, especially at games between Grangemouth and the ICI sides.


The sessions at Glensburgh on Thursday mornings and Friday evenings go from strength to strength. Anyone interested should contact Grangemouth Stags Rugby Club. The game is non-contact, and the emphasis is on fun and enjoyment. Many of the men and women who attend never played rugby before and there is a wide range of ages with some members able to recall the days when there was only one television channel.


Wales looked shell-shocked. You realised how bad it was when Warren Gatland offered his resignation afterwards. The team looked devoid of ideas and inspiration.

Italy was a breath of fresh air, and their first half performance was a warning that they could be a force to be reckoned with next year.

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Ireland struggled in that first half but looked a powerful unit once they finally clicked. They were deserving champions.

Scotland yet again showed bravery, courage and determined defence, but fell short when it mattered. The final unenforced error in stoppage time summed up a campaign when they were so close to achieving something special.

France showed signs of their traditional improvisation and flair and have added brute power up front. They will be title contenders next year.

England have finally realised that you can run and pass the ball and not just try to run over the opposition.


Tony Stanger scored Scotland’s only try in the 1990 Grand Slam decider against England at Murrayfield.