UAE Rugby Federation has announced that its Elite Player Programme (EPP) will commence in January 1st 2017. The EPP is a long-term strategy aimed at identifying, increasing and developing future National representative Emirati players with it’s primary focus on the development of 25 talented U18 Emirati players every calendar year.
UAE Rugby Secretary General, Qais Al Dhalai said;
“ It is a necessity that these players show strong potential, in skills and mental aptitude, to progress to a higher level, with the ultimate aim being UAE National Team representation on the international stage.”
UAE Rugby’s Head Coach and High Performance Manager – Apollo Perelini, said;
“ In the first year our focus will be the Senior Elite U18’s, year 2 we will widen our reach to Junior Elite U16, and year 3 we will bring in a Junior U14 category.”
Perelini went on to say;
“ These 3 levels of development will give us a stronger platform to identify and develop our Elite players and provide us with a sustainable future for Emirati players.”
During each year, each group will participate in numerous training camps and focus on age-specific skills and fitness.
The U18’s will be exposed to game and training analysis, skills and game management and position specifics. U16’s will be exposed to the basic aspects of the UAE rugby union, including game awareness, and the U14’s will be exposed to basic fundamental skills of rugby.