The Middlesex sevens is one of the most famous club sevens tournaments in the world, with a long and proud history of famous clubs, invitational sides and small teams all getting their taste of glory.
The Middlesex Sevens was founded in 1926 by Russell Cargill, who the trophy is now named after. Russell was a Scottish rugby man who remembered with fondness the Melrose sevens tournament he grew up with. Having moved down to Middlesex he, as part of the Middlesex rugby committee, suggested that a tournament should be set up along the same lines.
And so was born the first ever sevens tournament in England with 50 teams vying for the trophy. The teams at the time were selected from those in the Middlesex area, but as the tournament grew so to did the distance clubs would travel, and at one point the tournament had 300 teams all applying for places.
The competition has since been slimmed down and is now an invite only tournament, with teams made up of Guinness Premiership sides, one or two top clubs from around the world and invitational dies like the star studded 'Penguins' team.
It has also changed its timing. For years, it was considered the show piece finale to a long season, but with professionalism changing everything about rugby; it also had a change on the Middlesex sevens. It was agreed by the Guinness Premiership clubs to move the tournament to the start of the season, allowing it to keep its prestigious status, only now as a curtain raiser to the season, rather than the finale.
One thing that hasn't changed, despite professionalism and the success of the Middlesex sevens, is its place as one of the largest sporting charity events in the country. From back in its inaugural tournament right through to the professional competition it is today the focus of the event has been as much its efforts in raising money for charity as it is in producing top class rugby.
But that is not to say that the rugby isn't top class. With the top English and Home Nations clubs sides involved, as well as select world invitation sides, the Middlesex sevens always provides some of the most entertaining rugby sevens matches seen anywhere in the world.
With its charity work, its history and its status as the premier club sevens tournament, the Middlesex sevens is going from strength to strength.