England star Billy Vunipola cannot wait to be a part of the ever popular Greene King IPA Sevens tournament in Bury St Edmunds on Sunday.
The England and Saracens back row will be the special guest at this year’s event (from 10am-6pm approx), which is set to draw in another bumper crowd at Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club this weekend.
“I’m looking forward to my visit to Bury Rugby Club for the Greene King IPA Sevens,” England’s number eight said. “Sevens is a massively important game for players as it helps hugely with skills development.
“It’s a far more physical game than is often given credit for, and the fast pace and open spaces mean that from a spectators’ point-of-view it’s brilliantly entertaining.
“Becoming an Olympic sport will have a big impact on the game, raising awareness for the sport around the world in countries, such as Brazil and Portugal, where rugby is not as huge as football.
Vunipola, who has recently been shortlisted for the European Player of the Year award, will join what is expected to be another big crowd at the Haberden.
A star-studded line-up for the 16-team elite tournament includes defending champions Northampton Saints, fellow Aviva Premiership sides Sales Sharks, Saracens and Worcester Warriors, as well as national sevens teams from Ireland, Wales and Nigeria.
Bury fans can cheer on their home team as Bury Wolfhounds are set to compete for a slice of the £7,000 prize money.
“Of course, I’ll be cheering on my home team Saracens on the day as well as looking forward to meeting lots of rugby fans,” said Vunipola, who will be presenting the trophy to the winning teams from the elite and open competitions.
Bury were crowned National League Three champions two weeks ago, and Vunipola was the latest to congratulate the achievements of Gavin Hogg’s side.
“That’s a massive achievement to win the league and move up a second time in three years,” he said.
The ladies tournament returns for a second year, with the event also running a beer festival and a fancy dress competition which offers prizes for the best dressed on the day.
Tickets are priced at £10 for adults, £5 for under-15s and under-5s are allowed in for free, with tickets available on the gate or in advance online at www.bserufc.co.uk
Alongside the tournament, the club will once again be hosting a beer festival throughout the weekend kicking off tonight from 7pm.
n Bury St Edmunds duo Matt Edison and Shaq Meyers have been included in the initial Eastern Counties squad for their game with Northumberland later this month.