Sport

Legends at the Melrose Sevens -The stars who’ve graced the hallowed turf

telegraph

telegraph

Serge Blanco

-National team; France
-No. of Caps; 93
-No. of points; 233
-Honours;
Grand Slam 1981, 1987
-Appeared at the 1983 Melrose Sevens with the French Barbarians

No player epitomises the flair of French rugby’s golden generation more than Serge Blanco, from his heroic gallop to the touch line against Australia at the inaugural World Cup in 1987, to sparking an iconic end-to-end try at Twickenham in 1991. A less known fact among rugby fans is that Blanco made his first appearance on British soil at the Melrose Sevens of 1983. After a century of relative isolation Melrose Rugby Club began to invite a selection of overseas sides.

The first overseas side to actually win the tournament were the French Barbarians. The final against Stewarts Melville College was a showdown between some future Five Nations stars. Opposing the rising French stars, also including Didier Camberabero, was future Scottish Grand Slam hero Finlay Calder. Facing a determined College side meant the French couldn’t afford to be complacent, and the Scots scored three tries to the French five. However on the day the young Serge Blanco had proved himself as the Barbarians’ vital asset. Arriving with only nine players, they had lost one to injury in only their second match. But Blanco’s statistics, 2 tries and 15 conversions, speak for themselves.

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