A FESTIVAL of rugby will be held in Peebles this weekend.

Tonight (Friday, August 4) the Peebles RFC under 16s will kick it off by holding their own annual seven-a-side tournament.

There will be a refreshment tent at the event with tea and coffee, and some takeaway food will also be available throughout the evening. The first tie will kick off at 6pm.

Tomorrow (Saturday), Peebles' senior team host the first round of this season’s ‘King of the Sevens’ circuit at the Gytes. The first game starts at 2pm.

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The Peebles tournament is not a straight knockout tournament, but it is played with four pools of three teams.

Each team will play at least two games. The winners of the four pools will qualify through to the semi finals. Last year’s winners, Watsonians, find themselves in the same pool as Selkirk and Edinburgh Accies. Watsonians are first on at 2pm and play their city rivals.

Peebles are in pool C along with Jedforest and Hearts and Balls, both of whom are previous winners of this tournament.

Peebles are third on against Hearts and Balls at about 2.36pm.

There are plenty of Peebles players training three times a week under new head coach Graeme Paterson and all are looking to put in good performances in front of a home crowd.

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Again there will be a beer tent and plenty of outlets for food, soft drinks, tea and coffee.

There will also be small fairground attractions for young families.

To finish off the weekend, on Sunday afternoon Peebles Colts will be defending their victory last season in their own tournament, which kicks off at 1.30pm.

The youngsters are definitely a force to be reckoned with in Borders semi junior rugby and they will be looking for vocal support throughout the afternoon.

Again, refreshments will be available throughout the afternoon.

Previously the event was held in April but the club decided to change the date to the start of the season.

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Peebles RFC president Allan Beveridge told Borders Rugby TV: “I’m very proud. We moved to August a few years ago because in April the crowds were not huge, the weather was horrible and everybody was sick of rugby. I remember playing in rain, hail and even snow in April.

“But now we are first in line and hopefully it will continue to be a success.

“I fully understand that clubs want to be ready for the 15s but we’ve moved to this league system and every club gets at least two games and that maybe helps pre-season fitness, handling and running.

“I was very proud of the (Peebles) boys last year. They did an excellent job in the sevens circuit and the league. It was our centenary season and I think we did well.

“We are very lucky. We have loads of youngsters. David Changleng at the school is very good, Bobby Renwick is new and Mr Shirra-Gibb so we have three rugby gym teachers at Peebles High School.

“And we have a grand list of coaches for our Piranhas, under 16s and Colts.”

Peebles had also hoped to host a women’s tournament but only Hearts & Balls and Biggar agreed to take part.

He added: “Our secretary Jim King had a number of teams coming and several called off and I think he tried to contact another 16 teams but none were willing to commit and were preparing for the 15s.

“It’s a big shame because everyone enjoyed the women’s sevens last year.”