The UR7s Championships is only weeks away and the Quins are coming for the title this summer in Basingstoke. Today we take a look at the history of the Wyvern Harlequins
Wyvern Harlequins were formed in 2002 by founders Magnus Harding and Simon Baines, two lovers of the 7s format. Magnus and Simon wanted to create a team to compete in different local competitions on the South Coast of England, with the inspiration for the crest and name coming from the Wyvern dragon being from the Wyvern Hills, and 'Harlequins' to represent the different 15-a-side club colours worn by the various invited players.
In its early days, the team competed in local competitions such as the fledgling Bournemouth 7s tournament. Then, in 2006, after first competing in the Amsterdam 7s, they received an invitation to attend the International Invitational Dubai 7s. Playing in a pool with NZ Legends, Froggies and South Sea Island Drifters was the inspiration for the team to go on and develop its player base to compete at a more elite level.
Wyvern Harlequins have played in every Dubai 7s Invitational tournament since and, although the International Men's Social Cup title has eluded them so far (they've been Runners Up three times!), they were eventually crowned Champions of the International Open Men's competition in 2014, having been Runners Up in both 2012 and 2013. More recent success has seen them 'do the double' at the Ibiza 10s, winning both the Elite and Open Men's cup competitions in 2016.
Having now developed in to a two-team set up, they have created a pathway for some of the younger talent to compete alongside the older, more experienced team members, progressing from the Wyvern Dragons in to the Wyvern Harlequins. They are proud to have had 9 IRB 7s international players represent them over the years, and always look to give young players the opportunity to play at the bigger competitions.
As a result, the Wyvern family has grown and the bond between the players, families and supporters speaks for itself. They are always bound to have a large supporter base and are looking to make an impact in 2017, competing at UR7s, Bournemouth 7s, Ibiza 10s and Dubai 7s. Now managed by Simon Baines and Tom Cuff-Burnett, their 2017-18 coaching team comprises ex-Carmarthen Warriors captain, Jason Howells, and RFU Coach, Louise Meadows. They are also part of the Samurai kit family.
Due to its strong links with players past and present, the team also raises funds and awareness for the Royal Marines Association. To donate, text ‘BOOT13 £10’ to 70070.