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Carrick's three-day sevens extravaganza will set the pulses racing

By Niall Crozier

If you enjoy fast, fun-packed rugby, make your way to Carrickfergus this weekend.

Some 42 teams from England, Scotland and Ireland will be featuring in five different sevens competitions. Add a liberal sprinkling of Fijians and you have the ingredients for a three-day festival.

It's a fun-for-all-the-family affair with barbeques and a kidzone, plus a craft fair – almost 20 stalls – on Saturday and Sunday.

There is post-play entertainment on each of the three nights, with free admission to Sunshine's clubhouse gig on Friday, followed by Fusion and Rumors who will be headlining in the Guinness Live Marquee on Saturday and Sunday respectively (tickets for each are £10).

The on-field action gets under way at 6pm on Friday when eight teams will be lining out in the Samurai Sportswear U19s tournament.

And note that with seven screens in use at Carrick's Woodburn Road home, those not going to Ravenhill for the stadium's official opening and the Ulster v Leinster PRO12 game will be able to watch that inter-pro in tandem with the live action.

Saturday's tournament is the Quigg Golden Open in which the holders, NGN 7s – close friends and former team-mates of the late Nevin Spence – will be defending their title.

On Sunday, CIYMS will be aiming for a hat-trick in the Manvik-sponsored event for Qualifying League clubs.

Queen's, too, are on a hat-trick in the Abbey Ladies 7s.

And for the first time in the history of the biggest and oldest tournament in Ulster there is a ladies development event.

Sunday's Open tournament and prize-giving will be followed by a draw for a 2013 Lions jersey signed by the entire squad.

The proceeds will be donated to the host club's chosen charities, namely the David Wallace Rehabilitation Fund and the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children.

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