Armidale hosts the Wicklow Hotel Sevens competition run by the Armidale Blues

BOLT OUT OF THE BLUE: Ethan Dunlevy competing in the 15-a-side competition last year. This year's has changed to be the Wicklow Hotel Sevens.

BOLT OUT OF THE BLUE: Ethan Dunlevy competing in the 15-a-side competition last year. This year's has changed to be the Wicklow Hotel Sevens.

Armidale Blues revamped their annual rugby union knockout and have scheduled a sevens showdown for this year’s event. 

Sixteen men’s teams and six women’s teams will run out for the competition on at Moran Oval on Saturday. 

After a slow couple of years, the club decided to change to a sevens event to attract teams back to the competition. 

"We have had a 15-a-side carnival for the last 34 years but that was dying so I instigated that maybe a sevens competition was the way to go because last year we only had 10 teams entered,” competition organiser Anthony McMillan said. 

"We thought we would throw the sevens in and see how that goes.” 

St Patrick’s from Strathfield are back for the carnival this year and teams from Newcastle, Tamworth and the North Coast are entered in the men’s competition while the women’s will be fought out between Robb College, St Albert’s College, the Barbets, the Bluettes, Tamworth Pirates and a side from Inverell. 

The local rugby union clubs will also field teams in the men’s competition and local league side Narwan Eels put their hand up to participate.

An estimated 400 players, coaching staff and managers are expected at the ground and the club have set up grandstands for spectators to view the two fields at the same time. 

As well as the on-field action, the club have off-field attractions for the spectators.

Forty-four games will be played throughout the day and the first game commences at 8.30am. 

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