Ulster clubs should expect to find their entry forms for the 2008 Guinness Carrick Sevens tournament in the post over the next few days and the advice from the organisers is to get your name in as soon as possible.
For 35 years Carrickfergus RFC has organized an annual Sevens rugby tournament, which takes place on the May Bank Holiday weekend. In recent years the teams that have taken part have travelled from throughout Ireland and the UK. Last year nearly half of the teams taking part in the tournament were from outside of Northern Ireland.
Since 2005 Carrickfergus have organised the event over three days with it commencing next year on Friday, May 2 to Sunday, May 4.
The weekend will commence on the Friday evening with a 12-team Under-20s Sevens competition, which will be sponsored by Kukri Sportswear with the winners receiving a team kit for their club.
This will be followed by the traditional 24-team Guinness Open Sevens on the Saturday, which is aimed at attracting Ulster Qualifying League clubs with a prize fund of GBP£1500. On Sunday the Manvik Premier Sevens competition for AIB Ireland League sides will have £3000 up for grabs and will be held alongside the highly popular Lombard Ladies 10s with a prize fund of £1500.
Carrick are also considering running an Over-35s 10-a-side tournament on the Friday evening if enough clubs show interest, however places will be very limited.
With the changes that have taken place in the tournament over recent years, the event is still considered to be aimed at clubs in Ulster participating and to give them an opportunity to face teams from across the UK. It also gives clubs the rare chance of winning a share of over £6000.
This year already an unprecedented amount of interest has been received from teams across the British Isles and Europe, so to ensure that there is a strong home representation at the event Carrick strongly suggest that you return the entry form, which has been posted to all clubs in Ulster, or alternatively go to www.CarrickSevens.co.uk and download a form at your earliest convenience.
Should you require any further details about this tournament, please contact Michael Simms on 07849 718064 (+44 7849 718064) or Jim Simms on 07989 596888 (+44 7989 596888). Please note that this competition has the backing and approval of the Ulster Branch.