Dr Jack Kyle has launched the Guinness Carrick Sevens 2010, along with Ulster stars Timoci Nagusa and Clinton Schifcofske. Ulster’s Premier Sevens Rugby Tournament returns in May, for the 38th time.
On the tournament Dr Jack Kyle said “Its a great privilege to be in Carrickfergus as a representative of Wooden Spoon. I would like to wish Carrickfergus RFC tremedous success for their sevens tournament and I’m impressed with such a fantastic achievement of them being able to attract so many teams from across the Bristish Isles”.
Now the largest annual festival of rugby in Ulster, 700 men and women from across the Britain and Ireland will be competing for a total prize fund of £7,600, along with team sportswear. The tournament will commence on the evening of Friday the 30th of April with the Kukri Sportswear Under 19s when 12 sides will be competing for the Everest Trophy, including English representatives Surrey Colts who will be defending their title and regular visitors Telford College from Edinburgh. Local sides Grosvenor, BHSFP may have something to say about that, with Carrickfergus looking to cause a few upsets following a successful season at that level, while Wreckin Ball and the Wild Cats who are drawn from Carrick Grammar and BRA respectively, might be the teams to watch!
The Guinness Open will take place on Saturday the 1st with an incredible 32 sides taking part, including last years champions, Wooden Spoon who will be looking to hold on to the Holmes trophy for a third time. They will face stiff competition from several Scottish sides including QM Titans. The English challenge is led by three clubs from the North East, Novocastrians, Newcastle Pirates and Morpeth, who were finalists last year. In addition there is a strong entry from Ulster, with welcome returns by Grosvenor, BHFSP and PSNI, along with the Abbey Ulster Exiles who will be wanting to advance to the final stages. An added interest will be a number of teams from Donegal hoping to have a strong representation throughout the weekend. Carrickfergus will also be wanting to make their mark, with three teams and the hope is that they will go one better than the semi-final stage last year.
The competition concludes on Sunday the 2nd with the Abbey Insurance Ladies 10s Tournament, which features four teams from England including Wooden Spoon Lioness who make their first visit, Mel femels from Wales but they will all be chasing last years winners Cooke, however City of Derry might cause an upset or two. The blue ribbon event the Manvik Premier has attracted some of the best sevens teams in Britain. They include the Kooga Wailers who will defend their title, Mels Exiles from Wales with larger than life coach Mel “Father Christmas” Williamson and Wooden Spoon who are drawn from clubs across Britain. Ulster Academy coach Johnny Bell has confirmed his support for the event by stating that an Ulster Presidents side will again be taking to the field. This will feature players from the current Ulster squad, which will hopefully include Timoci Nagusa who captained the side last year. With Sevens rugby being accepted into the 2016 Olympics, it is back on the Irish agenda, so this tournament will give local players from AIL clubs taking part, such as Malone, Instonians and Queens, the opportunity to show their skills to those present who will be keeping a close eye.
Alongside the rugby, the Guinness Carrick Sevens has become a major social festival off the pitch and for 2009 there have been significant steps to develop the facilities for the spectators and supporters, with four separate bars available all day. Alongside the Guinness marquee erected for the evening entertainment, there will be a children’s zone to ensure the whole family is entertained. Car parking has also been increased, with several hundred extra places adjacent to the main clubhouse.
An important addition to last years proceeding was the Wooden Spoon Society being nominated as the charity for the event with being raising £1000 over the weekend. Although Wooden Spoon is indelibly linked to rugby, its fund-raising efforts are aimed at assisting projects such as providing playgrounds for children with severe and moderate learning difficulties across Northern Ireland. So with this in mind the committee of the Guinness Carrick Sevens are proud to have Honorary President of the Society, Jack Kyle to help them launch the event.
With thirty of the sixty four teams travelling from across the British Isles, 2010 is certainly shaping up to establish the Guinness Carrick Sevens as one of the largest annual festivals of sport in Northern Ireland.
For more information or updates please go to www.carricksevens.co.uk