Players are coming from far and wide to contest the third annual Blue Mountains and Greater West Rugby Sevens Carnival on Saturday, November 24.
This year the men’s competition boasts 18 teams, and includes the return of last year’s winner and tournament favourites the Lapstone Grunts, renamed the BMR Grunts. The team consisting of Blue Mountains Rugby players, was formed in honour of 26-year-old Grant Opie who loved his rugby and tragically died in a house fire in Blaxland in 2012.
There could well be some friendly rivalry this tournament, with the addition of the BMR Mountain Goats, another entry from Blue Mountains Rugby. New entry Blaxland High Old Boys could also throw a spanner in the works.
Tipped to make things difficult for the Lower Mountains contingent are Millthorpe Mountain Goats, a hybrid team of Stannies (St Stanislaus' College, Bathurst) and Blue Mountains Grammar old boys.
Meanwhile, players in the eight-team women's competition are travelling from as far afield as Wagga Wagga to take part in the tournament.
Tournament director Chris Nay said Charles Sturt University was entering a team from its Wagga Wagga campus; the CSU Reddies and another from its Bathurst campus; CSU Mitchell.
Mudgee Rugby Club will also enter the action this year with the Mudgee Honeybadgers.
But the team to beat will be last year’s winners the Seven10s, a bunch of Charles Sturt University friends largely based in the Mountains.
“The girls have come back; they’re a strong team. Ten of the 14 girls are the same, I’m tipping them as the front contenders in the women’s,” Nay said.
The youth competition was dropped this year due to the low number of teams registering.
The tournament will run from 8am to 5pm at Blue Mountains Grammar School’s ovals and Pitt Park, Wentworth Falls. This year there were will a basketball competition at Grammar between students from the school and Bowral’s Oxley College.
A partnership with Rugby Australia will ensure several players attend the tournament, including Cassie Staples from the Commonwealth Games silver medal winning Australian women’s sevens team to make a return appearance.