Warlingham RFC prepare for "Seventh Heaven" day of rugby and netball action

Excited: Warlingham sevens skipper Jon Osborne

Excited: Warlingham sevens skipper Jon Osborne

First published in Sport Wandsworth Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor

More than 200 rugby players and nearly 100 ladies netball players are descending on Warlingham RFC on Saturday for its annual "Sevens Heaven" tournament.

Held at their Hamsey Green home, 16 teams, including the Iceland national seven, will compete for the Tim Osborne Cup and several cash prizes.

Last year's winners, Dorking, together with Croydon-based Old Midwives will compete alongside the Warlingham Wizards, who were victors at the recent 59th Old Caterhamians Sevens over Easter.

With seven-a-side rugby to be included in the 2016 Rio Olympics for both men and women, the shortened version of the game is becoming increasingly popular as a spectator sport.

Warlingham's seven-a-side captain Jon Osborne said: "It's amazing how the seven-a-side game has grown in the last few years.

"It's really fast and often high scoring so spectators get an exciting day's rugby involving several very fit teams of players."

Warlingham chairman Peter Wrightson said: "Last year's event went really well and this year we have got some top sevens teams coming to the tournament making it probably the most prestigious Sevens Rugby event in Surrey.

"All the teams last year really enjoyed it and most have re-entered for this Saturday."

Hillcrest Ladies Netball club are also holding their own seven-a-side tournament with 12 teams competing for the Champagne Cup.

Hillcrest chair Gina Mattison sais: "Lots of local teams have entered this year and it's great to welcome them to our club and we do put on a really well run competition for them."

The rugby will start at 11.30am and go on all through the day, with a BBQ and beer festival and all spectators are very welcome to attend - and the entry is free.

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