AFTER all the months of planning the much-vaunted new event, the South Island Sevens, has arrived with big crowds at Watcombe Bottom, Ventnor, expected this weekend.

The rugby extravaganza, hosted by Ventnor Rugby Club, kicks off this morning (Saturday) with an action-packed day of tournaments.

There will be invitational men’s and women’s elite team tournaments, with 24 teams in total competing.

If you haven’t seen sevens before, you are in for a treat.

The globally popular seven-a-side version of rugby union is fast-paced and rewards evasive running and great skill.

Matches comprise two seven-minute halves.

Teams will represent nations such as Fiji, South Africa and Nigeria, together with strong sides from the Army, Royal Navy and RAF.

The Royal Navy Sharks team will include former Ryde School and Vectis RFC player Jack Davis, 20.

Having joined the Royal Navy in 2020 as an air engineering technician and currently based at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall, Jack has already played for the Navy U23s and was recently part of the Cornwall U20s that won the county championship.

Jack said: “I’m thrilled to be playing for the Navy Sharks, especially on home turf. The standard is going to be really high on the Saturday but it’s exciting to get the opportunity to play against them. “

Men and women will compete for knock-out trophies and a share of a £1,500 prize fund.

The fun continues on Sunday as 24 sides battle it out for the Sunday Tourist Trophies for men and women.

The Island will be represented by the South Island Sundays, including players from all three Isle of Wight clubs.

The tournaments will comprise four pools of three teams.

Tickets are only available in advance HERE.

Gates open at 10am. Matches start at 10.30am.