Time for the Sevens
After a long, long period of training, it´s finally time for some proper club rugby. The Men´s Swedish 7s kick off on Monday with the first round of three regional tournaments involving 13 teams. Exiles applied to field two teams but this was not allowed. Some Exiles players will I think turn out, however, for farmer team Erikslund.
The Northern group consists of Enköping, Erikslund, Sandviken and Södertälje. The two Allsvenska teams (and last year´s finalists) each have three players selected for the current Swedish training squad and should be stronger than the other two, unless Erikslund have some strong ringers from Exiles. The Mitt-group consists of Exiles, Hammarby, Linköping and Trojan. Exiles have two players in the Swedish squad and Linköping one (Tobias Borg). Trojan won Håckes this year but Tobias from their farmer club Linköping played a decisive role in that victory. Hammarby have lost a number of players this season and may find the going hard. I´ll be surprised if Exiles don’t win easily with Linköping/Trojan fighting for second. Then in the South we have Göteborg, Hälsingborg, Malmö, Vänersborg and Wexiö. The only Allsvenska team missing is Pingvin who haven´t shown much enthusiasm for the 7s game in recent years. It´s good to see Vänersborg fielding a team, they haven´t been involved in 15s for the last three years but have good former members playing all over the place. Wexiö have some useful players and could well win this one.
The second round will be played on Saturday the 27th and the semifinals on Thursday the 30th. Then there will be a long break until the end of June and the finals to be played in Malmö during the Swedish Sports´ Week.
But before that the Swedish Seven will have two weekends of the European Trophy tournament in Zagreb on 16/17 June and in Sarajevo on 23/24 June. A second squad of 16 has been called together for this weekend, once again including a few who are not really up to this standard. I make it 12 backs and four forwards in the squad. One would like to think those and others are being assessed during the Swedish 7s rounds.
A little unclear what is happening with the Ladies´ Swedish 7s. 13 teams are entered here as well, with two groups playing a round on May 4 and one on May 18. Thereafter all is silence, apart from the finals at the end of June. Exiles and Vänersborg will probably be the favourites, but the talent is spread over a number of other clubs including Göteborg who won Håckes.