VIDEO: Ex-England scrum-half Peter Richards on Bury's GK IPA Sevens
Former London Irish, Harlequins and Wasps player Peter Richards has been given the daunting task of retaining Bury St Edmunds' Greene King IPA Sevens Elite trophy by Samurai and Bury owner Terry Sands, and spoke to us about today's (Sun, May 7) tournament.
The scurm-half who made 13 appearances for England between 2006-2008 is one of several high-profile ex-players coaching at the tournament, with Joe Lydon (ex-Great Britiain rugby league player and England RFU and Sevens coach) and Kevin Maggs (ex-Ireland World Cup player 1999 and 2003) in charge of the Irish Wolfhounds side.
With the Free Press having reported that Wasps and England player Christian Wade had to pull out of being the tournament's celebrity guest it is the first year in the competition's nine-year history that there has not been one.
But with four international teams represented at this year's event with England's IPF Development team, the Irish Wolfhounds (second team) as well as France 7's Fantastics and Jamacia Crocs both making their Bury Sevens debuts, club chairman Mike Robinson said it will put the focus solely on the world-class sevens rugby on display.
This year also sees the prestige of the tournament heightened by being included as the kick-off event for the Super 7s Series - the first of four events making up the series.
Gates at the Greene King IPA Haberden opened at 9.30am this morning under a cloudy sky, but with the sun breaking out people were soon on the hill in sunglasses enjoying all that the all-day tournament has to offer in terms of fast and furious rugby, a beer festival, children's entertainment and food.
The tournament usually attracts crowds in the low thousands and operates an Open Competition for local sides alongside the main Elite Tournament.
Samurai Baracudas, managed by Richards, are looking to defend their title in the Elite cup, while Premiership powerhouses Northampton Saints have won the competition the most times, with three wins to their name in eight years.
In a change to the tournament programme, Black Sheep have been replaced by Sudbury Bulldogs, with Bulldogs Black stepping up to compete in the Elite competition and Sudbury taking their place in the Open cup.
ELITE: Samurai Barracudas, Worcester Warriors, Ramblin Jesters, Jamica Cros, England IPF Development, Northampton Saints, Wooden Spoon Marauders, Scimitar Exiles, Ireland Wolfhounds, France 7's Fantastics, Apache, Wailers 7's, Army, Esher, Bulldogs Black, J9 Bears.
OPEN: Bulldogs Black, Navy Sharks, Framlingham Old Boys, Stunts, Apache Braves, Bulldog White, Bury Barbarians, Essex Blades.