England star Billy Vunipola revealed as special guest for Greene King IPA Sevens tournament in Bury

Billy Vunipola

Billy Vunipola - Credit: PA

England and Saracens back row Billy Vunipola has been announced as the special guest for this year’s Greene King IPA Sevens tournament at Bury St Edmunds RUFC on Sunday.

The England Number 8, who has been shortlisted for European Player of the Year this season, will join supporters to watch his club team Saracens compete against fellow Premiership giants, Northampton Saints, Sale Sharks and Worcester Warriors.

As well as meeting fans and sponsors at the event, Billy who debuted for England seniors in June 2013 and has been capped 17 times, will present the trophy to the winning team from the men’s elite and open competitions.

Joining him, England and Bristol Women’s player, Sacha Acheson, who hails from Lawshall near Bury St Edmunds, will present the trophy to the winners from the ladies tournament.

Vuniopola said: “I’m looking forward to my visit to Bury Rugby Club for the Greene King IPA 7s. 7s 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.

“Of course, I’ll be cheering on my home team on the day as well as looking forward to meeting lots of rugby fans.”

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As well as Premiership clubs, specialist Sevens teams, Samurai Sevens, Irish Exiles, Jesters, Apache, Esher, Suzuki Warriors, Welsh Academicals have also entered the men’s elite competition alongside Bury Wolfhounds, which comprises a number of Bury’s 1st IXV players. Prize money is £7000.

Meanwhile 2015 will be the second year for the ladies tournament which comprises teams from across the region.

Acheson said: “I am very excited about being invited to Bury St Edmunds to represent Women’s Rugby at this fantastic and prestigious event.

“With the tournament growing to having a stage for women to play is another huge testament in which rugby in this area is growing. Successes like this aren’t given, they are earned each and every day, from the people who work behind the scenes and put in all the hours, to the athletes on the rugby pitch.

“It was nine years ago that I remember running around the top pitches in summer fitness at Bury rugby club, and to be able to come and celebrate the team play in such a renowned tournament will be an absolute pleasure.”

As is tradition for Sevens tournaments, spectators are encouraged to come in fancy dress, this year a super hero theme, with spot prizes given for best dressed.

Alongside the tournament, the club will once again be hosting a beer festival throughout the weekend kicking off on Friday 1st May from 7pm.

Entrance for the event, which includes food, drink and merchandise stalls, children play activities and family friendly competitions are £10 per adult, £5 for U15s and free for Under 5, with discounts for members of the Armed Forces.

Spectators can pay on the gate or book tickets in advance via http://www.bserufc.co.uk/a/gkipa7s-tickets-43204.html

For the latest information on this event visit www.bserufc.co.uk

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