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Former Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club chief Terry Sands celebrates Shogun victory in Greene King IPA Sevens and Super Sevens Series finale





It was a joyful return to the Haberden for Terry Sands on Saturday as his Shogun team won the men’s competition in the Greene King IPA Sevens, the concluding round of the Nirvana Spar Super Sevens Series.

It ensured the team, who were formerly known under former Bury St Edmunds chief Sands’ previous company name, Samurai, finished second in the three-leg national series, matching last year under their former guise.

Sands, the team’s founder and performance director, left Bury after 17 years’ service in the summer of 2021, with a restructure seeing his pro-am chairman role no longer exist.

Terry Sands (background left) returned to the Haberden to see his Shogun side celebrate the men's victory in the Greene King IPA Sevens Picture: Russell Claydon
Terry Sands (background left) returned to the Haberden to see his Shogun side celebrate the men's victory in the Greene King IPA Sevens Picture: Russell Claydon

Following a dominant 35-5 final success against Boom Beavers, he was all smiles, saying: "It’s always great to come back to the Haberden and I’ve spoken to quite a few people today and had some really lovely conversations, talking about all the fantastic memories I had here with some of the old committee and some of the new people that are involved here.

"It was great to come back and have a chat with them and of course to crown it with a win with our Shogun team, as it’s now known, was really great and really enjoyable.”

Shogun, who were coached at the tournament by former Irish international Kevin Maggs, who had a spell as Bury’s pro-am rugby director, included several high-profile players. South African Ricardo Duarttee was named rookie of the year in the 2023 World Rugby Sevens Series while Welsh-capped Sam Cross has been playing for Newcastle Falcons in the Premiership and Angel Bozal is a contracted Spain Sevens player.

Men’s series champions British Army halt a Vaquita Fiji Warriors attack Picture: Mark Westley
Men’s series champions British Army halt a Vaquita Fiji Warriors attack Picture: Mark Westley

Sands said: "What we’ve done with the series this year is we've looked at developing some of the young players and we've done that at Farnham and we did it at Newbury.

"And I always said we'd strengthen the side a little bit more for this tournament.

"I think we had eight youngsters in the first leg, five in the second and only three today, but it's been great for them to play with some of the quality players we've had here today.

"Yes, to do it at the Haberden and give the crowd something to cheer about has been fantastic."

The British Army celebrate their Super Sevens Series victory at Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club, having reached the semi-final of the Greene King IPA Sevens Picture: Russell Claydon
The British Army celebrate their Super Sevens Series victory at Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club, having reached the semi-final of the Greene King IPA Sevens Picture: Russell Claydon

British Army, who went out in a 17-7 semi-final defeat to Boom Beavers, celebrated winning the Super Sevens Series having carried a 13-point lead into the tournament, meaning it was effectively guaranteed by progressing out of the group.

"There's been some great rugby and the Army were deserved winners of the series overall,” said Sands.

"They had a good strong side. It was very unlikely they were going to lose, I think they had to go out in the quarter-finals.

Academic Barbarians run clear to score Picture: Mark Westley
Academic Barbarians run clear to score Picture: Mark Westley

"We finished second for the second year on the trot. We've had a great year, we've won the Hong Kong 10s, the Melrose Sevens, the Wimbledon London 7s which were all priorities of ours, so we've done that and I think we've proved ourselves as probably the top team in the UK in terms of elite teams and we've done that and had a great time.”

The Women’s final had proved a much tighter affair with Hammerhead Sharks, who also celebrated as overall champions, winning courtesy of an extra conversion to prevail 24-22 against Vaquita Hammerhead 7’s.

Hammerhead Sharks won the women’s tournament and overall Super Sevens Series title Picture: Russell Claydon
Hammerhead Sharks won the women’s tournament and overall Super Sevens Series title Picture: Russell Claydon

Kierra Deeks was named player of the tournament for the women while Ross McKnight, also of the winners, took the men’s award.

Savvy Pathers lifted the Women’s Plate after a 27-4 success against Hong Kong China Rugby in the final while the Men’s Plate was won by Rugby Deutschland after defeating Academic Barbarians 24-14.

There was no men’s or women’s open for local sides this year, following the Super Sevens Series requesting an extra pitch, which it later transpired they di not need. The loss of the local teams did impact on the crowd, thought to number around 400.

But Bury St Edmunds were represented in a stand-in team, HMP BaBas, after the late withdrawal of Esher Mavericks, with the side containing a number of past and present Colts (under-18s) players.