Dylan Hartley, the former grand slam winner and captain of England, has tonight been announced and welcomed into the Sharks (and local community) family.
The (not so 🤐) well kept secret of him joining the Division 1 side, was unveiled in-front of club members and sponsors, before joining Chris McCardy on the Off Script podcast, live from McGettigans JLT.
Dylan Hartley – New Director of Rugby at the Dubai Sharks
Hartley, appointed Director if Rugby at the Dubai Sharks, has set his sights firmly on helping the club gain promotion to the Premiership of UAE rugby.
The arrival of the 97-cap international star, who captained England for the 6 Nations grand slam back in 2016, is a surprise appointment for a team who were close to going out of existence four seasons ago, due to a lack of club numbers.
Featured AdvertAdvertise With Us!
The Sharks, having had on occasions, an uncomfortable ride, have struggled with success off and on the field. But as has been a constant with the club, they’ve dug in and got on with whatever has been thrown their way.
Now the fruits of their labour are finally beginning to pay off, after a strong player recruitment drive during the previous two season, reforming their women’s rugby team and starting their mini and youth rugby section, the club is beginning to turn heads as they’re now amongst some of the bigger clubs in the UAE and growing fast.
Hartley will be making the move to Dubai with his young family, as he begins a new path in business development for the equipment rental company – Access Hire Middle East, who also sponsor the Sharks.
Speaking with Hartley, before he was unveiled to the club, he told us of his motivation for moving to the Middle East, other than the obvious endless sunshine:
“My time as a professional rugby player had to end. That chapter of my life has closed, but I’m ready to start a new chapter and I want to experience something new with my family.”
“The main motivation for me to start the next chapter of my life here in Dubai, is being out of my comfort zone.”
“Back when I was 16 years of age and left my hometown in New Zealand in search of a rugby career in England, I was out of my comfort zone and look what happened.”
“I was very comfortable in England and looking back, the times in my life when I’ve thrived, have been when I’ve been at my most uncomfortable.”
“If you get out of your comfort zone, good things can happen.”