We interview current Dubai Wasps prop – Ben Rothwell
Yalla Rugby interviewed Ben Rothwell, who currently plays tight-head prop for the Dubai Wasps Rugby Club. He has been in Dubai for just over two years now, having moved here from the UK in 2013.
Ben first took up rugby over 15 years ago, when he was studying at university back in 2000 and he wanted to continue his passion, so he got in touch with a few of the local rugby clubs in Dubai. The (then) chairman of Wasps Rugby Club, Craig Gibson, who Ben says, “was extremely helpful”, gave him plenty of advice and information about playing rugby in Dubai and he knew from that moment that he wanted to play for the Wasps.
“Getting in touch with these guys was a tremendous help to me before I even set foot in Dubai.”
We asked Ben what his favourite memory so far has been as a Wasps player, playing rugby here in the UAE?
“I think winning the B6 competition in my first year was my favourite memory. We had a mixed season, but in the B6 competition we were extremely competitive. Come the final, where we played the Dubai Sharks, we were unstoppable and destroyed them that day. It didn’t hurt that I scored my first try for the Wasps in the first couple of minutes in that game. I’d like to say it was a try full of panache, but in reality it was a crash over from about 2m out.”
And his worst memory playing for the Dubai Wasps?
“I think my worst memory came this summer, and wasn’t actually playing, but it was fearing that Wasps may no longer exist. We lost some of our sponsors, and it was looking like it might be unfeasible to continue with the season. That’s when I got involved in the committee again, determined to try and save the club.”
Spending a lot of time with your teammates is important for building up comradely and lasting friendships on and off the pitch. So we asked Ben, which teammate he would most definitely not like to be stranded in the desert with and why?
He said, “I think it would be Laith Dawood. He once turned up in Abu Dhabi for a game, only trouble was, we were playing at the Sevens. So if I was stuck in the desert with him, I would fear for myself ever getting out alive.”
We also asked Ben what makes playing rugby in the UAE so special, which he replied, “The rugby scene here in the United Arab Emirates is fantastic. It is still a growing sport and has improved massively in the last two years since I’ve been here. Rugby clubs are getting stronger and stronger and its the striving to compete that makes us still do what we do. The facilities out here are out of this world – Just playing at world class venues like The Sevens and Al Ain Amblers rugby ground really make you appreciate the opportunity – I certainly don’t miss rocking up to a cabbage patch on a Saturday afternoon, rolling around in mud only to find that the showers are broken and cold!”
“The weather makes the rugby here a quicker more backs orientated game. Which as a prop, suits me, as we are all wannabe No. 10’s!”
Want to play for The Dubai Wasps?
We’d like to thank Ben for giving us this brief insight into playing rugby in the UAE. If you are interested in letting us know your UAE rugby experiences, please get in touch at info[at]yallarugby.com.
If you are interested in joining the Dubai Wasps Rugby Club, Ben highly recommends speaking with their current Chairman, Laurence Parker, Aaron Lewis or Pete Scargill. Visit the Dubai Wasps club page here.