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Gulf Rugby Roundup
Welcome back to our Gulf Rugby updates. This week we’ve got a combo sized rugby roundup of action from both Week one and two.

Jump right in…

Team of the week – The Men In Green From Muscat

Muscat Rugby Club - Team Of The Week

Photo Credit: Muscat Rugby

The arrival of Muscat Rugby Club into Division 2 is a welcome from across a border, that is only a couple of hours drive from Dubai. It’s a great step towards growing Gulf Rugby in the region and we’re sure fixtures in Muscat city will be a highlight for all teams throughout the year. Up until this season we’ve only seen the Omani outfit playing festival rugby, mainly during the Dubai Rugby Sevens competitions. Round One of Division 2 marked the club’s competitive Gulf Rugby XVs debut, and they announced themselves in style with a hard fought 28-19 win over last years Community League finalists and table toppers – Barrelhouse (who made their XV’s rugby debut this time last year).

Karl Rasmussen, Muscat Club Captain commented on their first competitive league outing by saying:

“The most important thing is that all of the players were happy, on both sides. The fixture between us and Barrelhouse was hard fought, but absolutely in the right spirit of the game. The momentum of the game kept switching, so in the end we could not tell who would finally win, and they were unlucky not to get a win or a bonus point, but overall, the next team is going to have an even better time than Barrelhouse, especially if they travel the night before.”

The new addition to club rugby in Division 2 will no doubt make the established order in the league sit up and take notice.

Premiership

Bahrain Rugby Club vs Dubai Tigers

Photo Credit: Alex Johnson

It was straight back to winning ways for Bahrain after two rounds of West Asia Rugby, as the current Champions made an impressive start to their 2019/20 campaign, collecting maximum points from fixtures against Dubai Tigers and KnightsEagles.

Abu Dhabi Harlequins also made it two from two as they swept aside the Dragons 16-56. Quins then hosted Tigers in a thriller of a match, as they scraped through with a 29-27 win. Tigers certainly look like they’re not here to make up the numbers and will have other teams in the league watching them closely with interest as the season plays out.

Division 1

Abu Dhabi Saracens vs Tigers

Photo Credit: Alex Johnson

In a new tournament structure this year, the league will not be spilt as with previous seasons, but culminates with the top four sides in the league playing a semi final knockout stage, so early wins in the season may prove crucial for teams looking for one of those top four spots.

There were encouraging starts from Dragons, Saracens and Exiles as they all collected maximum points in their opening two rounds.

Division 2

Rak Rugby vs Saracens

Photo Credit: David Learman

The ten teams competing in the social quarters of Gulf Rugby will be playing their fixtures every two weeks with a straight final place play off between the top two teams in the league after nine rounds of rugby. In their opening round of Division 2 action, Muscat, Harlequins and Rak Rugby all notched up wins as did Shaheen who benefited from a forfeit win over the KnightsEagles. The other fixture to complete the round was postponed between Amblers and Sharks.

Womens Sevens Series

Dubai Hurricanes Ladies Rugby

Photo Credit: Dubai Hurricanes


It was a strong start for the hosts of Round 1 in the UAE Womens Rugby Sevens Series competition as Dubai Hurricanes claimed their first tournament win in the A-League. A new entry this year saw the ladies from Tigers win the B-League competition.

Your official guide to Gulf Rugby 2019

Here’s Your Official Guide To Gulf Rugby In 2019/20

As the 2019/20 Gulf Rugby season kicks off, we take a look ahead to whats in store for rugby fans and how all of the regional league competitions are shaping up. This summer has not been without changes though so read on to find out whats new…

west asia champions 2018-19

Premiership

Holders: Bahrain (West Asia) and Harlequins (UAE)

Format: A straight league set up with all sides playing each other home and away over fourteen rounds. The champions of the West Asia Premiership will be decided between the top two teams after all league rounds are complete. Likewise, the top two UAE based outfits (discarding results against Bahrain) will play on finals day for the right to be crowned UAE Premiership Champions.

Ins and Outs: This season we see Dubai Tigers enter the top tier of Gulf Rugby after a gaining promotion at the end of last season. We see a new team, who recently merged as the KnightsEagles hoping to compete with boosted numbers this year.

Premiership Teams

Bahrain, Dragons, Exiles, Harlequins, Hurricanes, KnightsEagles, Tigers

dubai tigers conference rugby champions 2018/19

Division 1

Holders: Dubai Tigers

Format: First-off, you will see we’ve had a name change. Previously known as the UAE Conference League, the second tier of Gulf Rugby will now be referred to as Division 1. The 2019/20 season will see nine rounds of rugby played and the top four finishing teams after the final round will go into a knockout semi-final playoff to determine who play in on Finals Day 2020.

Ins and Outs: The Sharjah Wanderers are back in the mix after a one year hiatus. As mentioned above, newly merged KnightsEagles will be fielding their 2nd XV to complete the ten Division 1 rugby teams in the UAE.

Division 1 Teams

Amblers, Dragons, Exiles, Harlequins, Hurricanes, KnightsEagles, Saracens, Sharks, Tigers, Wanderers

Dragons UAE Community Champions 2018/19

Division 2

Holders: Jebel Ali Dragons

Format: Again, another name change. You will see what was once the Community League, now referred to as Division 2. The 2019/20 season will also see nine rounds of rugby played but will culminate with the top two teams in the league table going on to Finals Day to see who will be crowned Champions of Division 2.

Ins and Outs: Huge news for Oman Rugby as we welcome Muscat RFC into the third tier of Gulf Rugby. It’s been a longtime coming and we wish them all the best in their inaugural season as they join the social rugby scene. Saracens will be fielding a 2nd XV this season as the benefit from a boost in numbers over the summer.

Division 2 Teams

Amblers, Barrelhouse, Dragons, Harlequins, KnightsEagles, Muscat, Rak, Saracens, Shaheen, Sharks

dubai eagles womens sevens rugby series champions 2018 19

Womens Sevens Series

Holders: Dubai Eagles

Format: The Womens Rugby Sevens Series is the top tier league of ladies rugby in the Emirates with nine rugby clubs participating in the league. There will be eight rounds of rugby hosted by each club throughout the season. The Dubai Tigers and Firebirds rugby clubs will host a joint round.

Womens Teams

Amblers, Firebirds, Hurricanes, Harlequins, KnightsEagles, Rak, Saracens, Tigers, Wanderers

mens gulf rugby fixtures announced

Jump Right In…

Mens 2019/20 Rugby Fixtures

It’s been a long hot summer for all rugby clubs this year as pre-season training comes to an end and the focus switches to the first round of Gulf Rugby.

Due to the season kicking off slightly later this season, we won’t see any action until the beginning of October, so each team will have a good few weeks of extra training under their belts before they begin their 2019/20 rugby campaign.

West Asia Premiership – Round 1 Preview

October the 4th will see the West Asia Premiership kick off with the newly merged Dubai KnightsEagles taking on the Dubai Hurricanes down at Dubai Sports City.

Newly promoted Dubai Tigers will be thrown straight into the deep end of West Asia rugby with their first league fixture against the 2018/19 Champions – Bahrain at Dubai College.

The final game of Round 1 sees a repeat of last years UAE Premiership final between Jebel Ali Dragons and Abu Dhabi Harlequins. The Quins will be looking to continue their good form, having only lost one game in the Premiership last season as they went on to win the league.

Dubai Exiles will have an extra week of prep time as they sit this round out with a bye.

UAE Division 1 – Round 1 Preview

Previously known as the UAE Conference League, the UAE Division 1 will also kick off on the 4th October.

The above mentioned merged KnightsEagles 2s will get things underway with their first match against last years’s finalists – Al Ain Amblers. Dragons 2s take on Harlequins 2s, Dubai Sharks face off against the Hurricanes 2s, Tigers 2s will play the Saracens and for the final fixture of Round 1 we welcome back the Sharjah Wanderers after a 1 year hiatus from domestic rugby, as they take on the Dubai Exiles 2s.

UAE Division 2 – Round 1 Preview

This year we also see a name change for the previously known UAE Community League, now called the UAE Division 2 which kicks off on the 4th October.

The Sharks 2s play Amblers 2s, Saracens 2s host RAK Rugby up in Abu Dhabi, Harlequins 3s take on current Community Final winners Dragons 3s, Shaheen face KnightsEagles 3s and we welcome for the first time Muscat Rugby Club as the play last years unbeaten league toppers, Barrelhouse.

We’re still five weeks out before the season officially kicks off, so expect some time changes to what is already pencilled in for the fixtures.

 

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