International sides lined up for Bury St Edmunds' GK IPA Sevens tournament

The organisers of the 2017 Greene King IPA Sevens tournament are hoping for another bumper crowd off the back of some good weather coupled with another great line-up
The organisers of the 2017 Greene King IPA Sevens tournament are hoping for another bumper crowd off the back of some good weather coupled with another great line-up

Rugby sevens teams from France and Jamaica are set to join sides from both the England and Ireland national squads at this year’s Greene King IPA Rugby Sevens tournament at Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club next month.

Now in its ninth year, The Greene King IPA Haberden-staged event pits the four different nations against each other in the first of four national Super Sevens Series Tournaments to be run through the summer across the country.

The tournament takes place in two week's time on Sunday, May 7 and has another full house of high-profile national, Premiership and elite sevens squads competing.

Seen as one of the premier sevens tournaments on the UK circuit, the Greene King IPA Sevens event will operate an Open competition for development and local sides alongside the Elite tournament.

Elite teams confirmed to are:

* Northampton Saints

Leicester Tigers in action against sevens specialists' Samurai (owned and run by Bury St Edmunds' Terry Sands) in the 2014 tournament

Leicester Tigers in action against sevens specialists' Samurai (owned and run by Bury St Edmunds' Terry Sands) in the 2014 tournament

* Worcester Warriors

* England IPF Development

* French 7 Fantastics

* Irish Wolfhounds

Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club's famous wolf crest

Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club's famous wolf crest

* Jamaica Crocs

* Samurai Barracudas

* Wooden Spoon Marauders

* Apache Scimitar Exiles

* Esher Wallers 7s

* The Black Sheep

* Ramblin Jesters

* Army 7s

* J9 Bears

Northampton Saints, Worcester Warriors, French 7 Fantastics (comprising former France student Internationals) and Esher are all entering as guest teams alongside the 12 elite sevens specialist teams of the Super Sevens Series.

Teams competing in the Open men’s line-up are:

* Bury Barbarians (including many of Bury’s St Edmunds' current National League Two squad)

* Samurai Bulldogs

* Royal Navy Sharks

* Stunts

* Old Framlinghamians

* Apache Braves.

Each of the elite teams will be battling to win the £7,000 prize money, presented to them by this year’s sporting celebrity guest. Previous guests have included England players Chris Ashton, James Haskell, David Strettle, Courtney Lawes, Dylan Hartley, Billy Vunipola and last year Andy Goode, with this year's guest yet to be revealed.

The family-friendly day, sponsored by Bury St Edmunds brewer Greene King's IPA brand, will once again be packed with activities and games for children, food and drink stalls including a hog roast, barbeque, a beer festival and merchandise stalls.

Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club's chairman Michael Robinson said: “With teams from four different nations competing at the event this year, it really is our best line-up of elite teams yet at the Greene King IPA Sevens.

"The quality of the teams, including Premiership sides such as Northampton Saints and Worcester Warriors, alongside the amazingly athletic and skillful specialist sevens squads of the Super Seven Series, make this year’s event a must-attend for any rugby fan.

"Nowhere else in East Anglia can you see such high quality fast rugby sevens played at this level; an absolute treat for any sports enthusiasts."

He added: "The tournament isn’t just for hardcore rugby fans either; the day is packed with fun activities for the whole family to take part in from climbing walls and quad biking riding to RAF and fire brigade vehicles to climb aboard.”

Gates open from 9.30am with tickets available on entry or in advance with early bird discounted tickets via the club's website www.bserufc.co.uk or direct at https://www.tickettailor.com/checkout/view-event/id/83415/chk/bc25 Gate prices are £15 per adult, £5 for under-16s and free for under-5s.

* When tweeting about the tournament, use the hastag: #GKIPA7s