THIS year’s highly anticipated Waverley Cup match between Gala and Melrose scheduled to take place on Boxing day has been cancelled due to Covid issues.

The event has been contested annually since 2006 and is traditionally well attended by supporters of both teams along with neutrals.

The game was also called off last year and the last time it took place was 2019 when Gala beat a young Melrose side 26-14 at the Greenyards with tries scored by Fergus Johnston, Ben Gill, Euan Dods and Simon Fairbairn along with three conversions from Dean Keddie. Melrose’s scorers were Will Owen and Aiden Cross with conversions from Kieran Clark.

The news was announced in a statement published on the Gala Rugby website which reads: “Regrettably we have been left with no option but to cancel the Waverley Cup game against Melrose on Boxing Day. We committed heavily to organising a great day out at Netherdale and we know that this decision will disappoint many of you, as much as it does us.

“Melrose have informed us that they have had a number of Covid infections in their squad and staff and given the current increasing spread and growth of the new Covid variant have decided that they will not be able to participate in the Waverley Cup this year.

“We take this opportunity to apologise to all of our supporters, sponsors, players and stakeholders for the cancellation of the match, we know how keenly anticipated this fixture and post Christmas day out are, and confirm that it will be replayed at Netherdale next year.”