CLUBS from throughout East Lothian, the Scottish Borders and Edinburgh are set to descend on North Berwick this weekend.

Many rugby clubs from across the country have been on the sidelines for more than a year.

However, with the new season kicking off next month, North Berwick RFC is hosting its sevens tournament for the first time since 2019.

Iain Dove, club president, was looking forward to the competition, which takes place tomorrow (Saturday).

He said: “It is an opportunity we got because of the Highland Games being cancelled.

“This is their traditional date and we hoped the restrictions would be lifted, which is not quite true.

“It is going to be a different time for all but we have got up to 20 senior teams taking part.

“A lot of people are looking to play rugby and enjoy a social day out.

“There will be a competition and somebody will win but it is important people come along and enjoy it.”

Already, clubs from Hawick and Galashiels have confirmed their participation, with Watsonians expected to join them, as well as those from throughout the county.

Mr Dove described it as “crazy” to think that the tournament had not been played for more than two years.

North Berwick were challenging for promotion in 2020 when the season was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

The new campaign begins on September 4 against Livingston before the first home clash at Recreation Park in more than 15 months when Inverleith visit.

Dove was pleased to say the numbers at training were healthy and expected the club to have a youthful-looking side once again.

He said: “The biggest challenge for every club is those that are 18 or 19 years old and left school a year or two ago. They have never played senior rugby.

“North Berwick always has a young side and it is just how they adjust to what is a harder game, a more physical game, than they have been used to.

“We live in hope and expectation and we are looking forward to getting a new crop of youngsters and giving them their chance.”

The club has a proud tradition in recent years of helping youngsters take their first steps on the rugby ladder.

Rory Darge, Chris Dean, Lewis Carmichael, Roan Frostwick, Ben Muncaster, Tom Brown and Callum Hunter-Hill are among those to have started their sporting journey in the town.

The sport is also increasing in popularity among females in the area, who are looking to follow in the footsteps of Megan Gaffney, Annabel Sergeant and Liz Musgrove.

Mr Dove added: “Girls’ rugby is a growing area for North Berwick.

“The year before last we had three teams out and this year there should be five.

“We are delighted to see that going well and they have got the role models of the three girls playing for Scotland’s 7s.”