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rugby coaching courses in Dubai

Rugby Coaching World Rugby Courses – 2019!

Fancy yourself as the next Eddie Jones, Warren Gatland…..Steve Hansen? Why not become a fully fledged 15’s  or 7s rugby coach here in the United Arab Emirates? Rugby training courses are held at various locations around the Emirates. All rugby coaching courses are ran by the UAE Rugby Federation.

To apply for any of the UAE Rugby Training and Education Courses you need to complete the pre course information within each application listed below. You can download the applications by clicking on the links provided;

  • Match Official Course
  • Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Course
  • World Rugby Level 1 Coaching 7s Rugby
  • World Rugby Level 1 Coaching 15s Rugby
  • World Rugby Level 2 Coaching 7s Rugby
  • World Rugby Level 2 Coaching 15s Rugby
  • World Rugby Level 1 Medical Course

The UAERF have a full list of course dates and locations, where you can view current courses on offer at the moment.

Still unsure? Heres five great reasons for becoming a rugby coach

  • You stay involved with the game you love, the friendships the fun and the bants
  • You feel good knowing that you’re giving something back
  • You stay fit – mentally and physically
  • You develop yourself personally and professionally
  • You inspire the next generation of players

If this sounds like your cup of tea but you still have further questions, why not get in touch with the UAERF using the form below.

UAE play Thailand rugby Asia rugby cup

UAE Thrash Guam in the Semi Final of Asia Rugby Championship

The UAE International rugby side have their sites firmly set on a return to Division One of Asia Rugby, having plowed their way past Guam in a first of two fixtures in Thailand, beating them in convincing style 82-7. To gain automatic promotion to Division One, they will need to beat Thailand on Saturday 18th May in the Cup Final of the Division Two Championship.

With a reformed side, built up of UAE Premiership rugby clubs, Eagles, Exiles, Dragons, Harlequins and Hurricanes, head coach Apollo Perelini will be looking to climb the ranks of World Rugby.

Ranked 70th in the World Rugby leaderboard, the UAE played 69th place – Guam in the semi final in Hua Hin, on Wednesday and put a flurry of points past them with Dubai Exiles backrow Jaen Botes and Dubai Hurricanes centre Sakiusa Naisau both getting their a hat-trick of tries.

Tries: Jaen Botes (4), Sakiusa Naisau (3), Kini Natuna (2), Hamish Anderson, Ed Armitage, Matt Richards.

Conversions: Luke Stevenson (11)

UAE rugby team Thailand 2019

UAE Rugby captain Luke Stevenson giving a team talk


Perelini Names Starting XV To Face Guam In Asia Rugby Semi Final

Head coach of national UAE Rugby, Apollo Perelini, has named his starting XV ahead of their first ever fixture against Guam in the Asia Rugby Championship 2019. The UAE will kick off their semi final match in Hua Hin, Thailand on the 15th May, and will be looking to progress to the final where they will play either Thailand or pre tournament favourites, Kazakhstan.

Perelini’s men will be looking for promotion back up to Division One following their relegation to Division Two last year when they withdrew from the tournament. They will have the opportunity to gain automatic promotion should they beat Guam and then either Thailand or Kazakhstan in the final which will be played on the 18th may 2019.

Louie Tonkin (left) and Apollo Perelini (right)

Louie Tonkin (left) and Apollo Perelini (right)

A Boost From Bahrain

An already strong looking set of forwards will be boosted with the addition of former Bahrain Rugby Club coach, Louie Tonkin as he joins Perelini as UAE Forwards Coach for the competition. Following the trip in Thailand, Tonkin will be heading to UK Premiership rugby side, Exeter Chiefs’ as Academy Coach, having just ended a superb stint with Bahrain, winning the West Asia Premiership after a thriller of a match against the Exiles.

Captain, Luke Stevenson thinks Tonkin has had a great impact so far;

“Louie is a class coach and has implemented a few new things that I think will be of great benefit to our forwards”

UAE National Rugby Team 2019

Starting Lineup To Face Guam

Forwards: Chris Jones-Griffiths, Gio Fourie, Craig Nutt, Daniel Perry, Isaac Porter, Matt Mills (VC), Hamish Anderson, Jaen Botes.

Backs: Barry Dwyer, Luke Stevenson (C), Sean Carey, Andrew Powell, Sakiusa Naisau, Thinus Steyn, Matthew Richards

Finishers: Lukas Waddington, Murray Reason, Ahmed Moosa, Stephen Ferguson, Sean Stevens, Edward Armitage, Kini Natuna, Majid Al Balooshi

You can view a live stream of the match which will be shown on the Asia Rugby Facebook page at 12:30 UAE Time.

Photo credits: Stephen Ferguson

uae rugby national school boys 2018

UAE Rugby ranked 5th in World Rugby’s ‘Get Into Rugby’ youth development programme

A recently published ‘Get Into Rugby’ report from World Rugby and Asia Rugby, highlighting Associate Nations, has ranked the UAE as 5th in the world for rugby participation at youth level.

Earlier this year, UAE Rugby entered into a landmark agreement with the UAE Ministry of Education which saw World Rugby’s ‘Get Into Rugby’ (GIR) programme form part of the Physical Education curriculum in Emirati schools across the UAE.

In 2018, 107,001 boys and girls were involved in UAE Rugby’s Player Pathway Programme, 39% of which are girls. Currently UAE Rugby takes the sport into 208 schools across the UAE.

Our agreement with the Ministry of Education is a first for the region

ministry of education

Qais Al Dhalai, Secretary General UAE Rugby Federation said; “Our agreement with the Ministry of Education is a first for the region and undoubtedly cements UAE’s position as a leader in development and sustainability of the grassroots game across both the GCC, and Asia. This is evident through our being recognised and being ranked as 5th in the world, an achievement we are very proud of. Asia Rugby’s ‘Asia 1 Million Project’ has just reached its mark, and we are delighted to have been a major contributor to this achievement.”

“We remain extremely grateful to the Ministry, and for the ongoing support of our GIR – Player Pathway Programme partner; HSBC, as a result of their unwavering support rugby will continue to grow at grassroots.” added Al Dhalai.

uae rugby club transfers summer 2018

Over the summer there have been some player movements from various clubs. Below is the list of who’s in and who’s out. Current UAE Expat Rugby Conference winners Dubai Tigers appear to have scooped the majority of the summer transfers with 6 newcomers, followed by the Dubai Eagles who will be looking to bolster their squad for their second season of UAE Rugby following their debut last season finishing 5th place in the UAE Premiership. The most notable figures are the Jebel Ali Dragons who have had 5 players leave over the summer. The UAERF summer transfer window is from 1st June – 31st July but has had a temporary extension until 15th August.

Transfers By Clubs

Rugby ClubPlayers OutPlayers In

UAE Summer Transfers 2018

Alan ShortDubai HurricanesDubai Eagles
Arnuad TachiBeaver NomadsDubai Tigers
Bradley StuartJebel Ali DragonsDubai Tigers
Caleb AndersonDubai HurricanesDubai Eagles
Charl LippertAl Ain AmblersDubai Exiles
Daniel MainDubai EaglesDubai Tigers
Epeli DavetousluJebel Ali DragonsAbu Dhabi Harlequins
Fabian RivallandDubai ExilesDubai Tigers
Gregory DominiqueDubai ExilesDubai Tigers
Isaac PorterSharjah WanderersDubai Eagles
James MulhairDubai HurricanesDubai Eagles
Josue Essome MakongoJebel Ali DragonsDubai Exiles
Karl KcGowanBeaver NomadsDubai Tigers
Moses SoitaAbu Dhabi HarlequinsAl Ain Amblers
Phillip Le RouxDubai HurricanesDubai Exiles
Pio ImmaJebel Ali DragonsDubai Hurricanes
Sakiusa NaisuJebel Ali DragonsDubai Hurricanes

4 tips to find UAE expat Rugby Clubs In Dubai

So you’re an Expat ready to find a local rugby club in Dubai, or other Emirates of the UAE?

Here at Yalla Rugby we know first hand about finding a rugby club in Dubai. Becoming an expat and moving abroad to a foreign land can at first be a pretty daunting experience. You’re choosing to start a new life in a country unfamiliar to you, and whilst extremely rewarding, it can take a while to settle in and find your feet.

Once you are settled however, it’s then time for you to find a sense of normality and to start living your life the way you want it to be lived. Rugby for example, is a universally spoken language that people all across the globe can understand. Playing rugby in Dubai not only gives you some beneficial exercise, it’s also challenging, and it teaches you discipline and various other life skills in the process.

UAE Expat Rugby

If you’re new to expat life in Dubai, enjoying living in the fantastic climes of the United Arab Emirates, you’ll know right away that rugby clubs in UAE are spread out everywhere, as it’s an incredibly popular sport in this part of the world. If you yourself happen to be an avid rugby fan, looking to play expat rugby in Dubai, you’ll need to be on the lookout for a club to play for. Finding a rugby club in an unfamiliar part of the world however, can be tricky, which is why we’ve compiled this handy article on how to find the ideal rugby team and club to support, so you can get those rugby boots back on!

Dubai expat Rugby Clubs UAE

Finding An Expat Rugby Club In Dubai

The UAE Rugby Federation is the national governing body here in the United Arab Emirates. There are many different rugby clubs in Dubai, as well as numerous rugby teams and organisations with deep-rooted connections to the rugby world, so the clubs and teams are certainly out there, you just need to know how to find them. Check out our list of expat rugby clubs for a look at a list of local UAE rugby clubs. Looking at lists of this nature is ideal as we’ll give you a brief history of each club and the all important contact details for you to get in touch with to enquire about joining.

uae rugby clubs infographic 2016 - 2017


What Should I Expect When Playing Rugby In The UAE?

If you’ve moved to the UAE from a much cooler part of the world, one of the first things that you will immediately notice is just how incredibly hot it is in the United Arab Emirates. For that reason, before you commit to any Dubai rugby club or team, first you will need to know what to expect. For example, playing rugby matches, and training for rugby, outdoors in intense heat is not to be taken lightly. Playing rugby and training in extreme heat is very difficult and very taxing, so it’s vital that you stay well hydrated at all times. Not only will you have to contend with the physical challenges thrown at you on the rugby pitch, you also have the burning hot sun to deal with. Even evening games are sometimes very hot and sweaty. As well as that, there is the language barrier to contend with.

Ask Around For Advice

Another great tip for anybody looking to play UAE Expat rugby in Dubai, is to ask around for any recommendations/suggestions on clubs that may be looking for new players. Gyms are great places to begin your search as there is a big bodybuilding culture in the UAE, and if there’s one thing that rugby players are known for, it’s their huge size, strength, and their love of pumping iron in preparation of games.

So with that new knowledge in mind, we wish you the best of luck when choosing a rugby club in Dubai and the UAE!!!

Al Maha U18 girls rugby sri lanka training camp

UAE Rugby’s all-Emirati U18 Girls team, Al Maha, complete successful Sri Lanka training camp ahead of Asia Tournament

UAE Rugby’s all-Emirati U18 Girls team, Al Maha, recently participated in an intensive 7-day training camp, in Colombo and Kandy, Sri-Lanka, fine-tuning and honing their rugby skills and increasing their fitness levels. The purpose of the camp was to prepare the National (U18) UAE Rugby 7’s team for the upcoming U18 Girls Asia 7’s Tournament, which will be taking place in India, during October 2018.

UAE Rugby’s Head Coach, Apollo Perelini stated;

“The camp was a success, we’re seeing vast improvements in their abilities, and I’m exceptionally pleased with the commitment shown by this group of girls in developing their (rugby) skills and levels of fitness. Our players gained valuable experience and I am confident this (camp) has assisted preparations ahead of their participation in the Asia Rugby U18 Girls Tournament.”

On the final day of the camp, Al Maha were able to put the skills learnt to practice playing a number of friendly games with the Sri-Lankan U18 Girls 7’s squad.

Qais Al Dhalai, UAE Rugby Secretary General added;

“We extend our sincere appreciation to the Sri Lanka Rugby Union, where, through their co-operation and assistance this camp was possible.” “We also thank their entire team for welcoming our girls rugby so warmly, and for looking after them while in Sri Lanka.”

UAERF impact beyond project 2018

UAE Rugby Federation’s Impact Beyond project gains more momentum with the delivery of 800 balls to the UAERF’s schools programme

The UAERF has further strengthened their partnership with the Ministry of Education (MoE) through the MoE including the Federation’s GIR highly successful Player Pathway Programme (PPP), supported by HSBC, into the school’s sports curriculum for Cycles 4 through 11.

Previously, the GIR programme was delivered to girls and boys in Cycles 9 through 11 with the 2017/2018 season seeing an impressive 17,000 girls and 13,000 boys introduced to the game in Emirati schools across the UAE.

“We are extremely pleased to have achieved this season’s performance goals as set by our Board and the Ministry” said Salman Hady, Vice Chairman of UAERF and Chairman of the Development Committee. “It is incredibly rewarding for us to see the number of Emirati girls and boys participating in and enjoying our sport, and we are delighted to be able to take the game into 5 additional Cycles.”

“We extend our sincere gratitude to both the Ministry and to HSBC whose support and commitment has made this possible.”

The Federation recently presented the MoE with 800 Rugby balls to be used in next season’s Player Pathway Programme. The handover of the balls was made at the MoE offices and was attended by Salman Hady; UAERF Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Development Committee, Hamdan Suliman; UAERF CEO, Sami Smara; UAE Rugby Development Manager, Ms. Aisha Al Siri; Director of Health and Physical Fitness (MoE), Mr. Ahmed Abdulrahman; Ministry of Education’s Schools Sports Department (MoE) and Mr. Peter Moore; Programme Manager for the Physical and Health Education.

UAERF transfer window 2018

Transfer Window Changes Have Taken Place Within The UAERF – Heres What You Need To Know

The UAE Rugby Federation have amended the ‘Player Transfer Window’ based on recommendations proposed at their end of season meeting.

When Are The New Transfer Windows Open?

Players transfers are now only permitted during two periods of the year;

Window One: 1st June – 31st July
Window Two: 20th December – 5th January

Transfers are subject to approval from both club chairmen and the UAERF and the player is only allowed to transfer during the above transfer window dates. This means there will be no free movements during the pre season period before we kick off again in September.

All player transfer requests need to be applied for via the ‘Player Transfer Application Form’ where approval for the transfer will be subject to the Transfer Conditions outlined in the form.

It’s worth noting here that this is only valid for senior rugby (18 years and over).

The player transfer application form is deemed valid only when the below items are fulfilled by all parties involved:

  1. Both club chairpersons or their representatives approve and sign the form.
  2. By signing, the player confirms payment in-full of any annual subscription fees owed to their current club.
  3. The transfer is within the transfer windows and conforms to UAERF Registration & Competition Regulations.
  4. UAERF approves and signs the play transfer form.

Download the official UAERF Local Player Transfer Application Form here:

uae local emirati schools rugby

UAE Rugby and UAE Ministry of Education enters into landmark agreement which sees World Rugby’s ‘Get Into Rugby’ included in Emirati Schools Physical Education Curriculum

  • Landmark agreement will see World Rugby’s Get Into Rugby programme included in UAE Emirati Schools Physical Education Curriculum
  • Programme implemented at the start of the 2018 Emirati school year
  • Agreement will bolster Asia Rugby and World Rugby’s grassroots participation goals

UAE Rugby has entered into a landmark agreement with the UAE Ministry of Education which will see World Rugby’s Get Into Rugby (GIR) programme form part of the Physical Education curriculum in Emirati schools across the UAE. In a first for the region the agreement undoubtedly cements UAE’s position as a leader in development and sustainability of the grassroots game across both the GCC, and Asia.

This is a major milestone in UAERF’s Player Pathway Programme

“We are exceptionally pleased and encouraged the Ministry of Education has approved Rugby as an official sport by including it in their schools (physical) curriculum.” commented Qais Al Dhalai, UAE Rugby Secretary General.

“This is a major milestone in UAERF’s Player Pathway Programme. Through this approval, and the ongoing support of PPP partners; HSBC and Land Rover, rugby will continue to grow at grassroots, bolstering Asia Rugby’s ‘Impact Beyond’ strategy which is to grow participation numbers, across the Asian Unions, to one million by the Rugby World Cup in 2019.” he added.

sami-smara-uae rugby development manager dubai

At the ground level, leading the charge, is Sami Smara, UAE Rugby Federation’s Development Manager, who said; “The commitment of our team, and the Ministry can already be seen, where in early January the Ministry published the first ‘Rugby Workbook’, and where over 400 teachers were trained in delivering the programme in one day alone.” “More of these type of super-days will be held until we have all physical education teachers (at Emirati school) qualified to deliver the GiR programme, and we expect the numbers of Emirati-boys and girls to reach over two hundred thousand (across the UAE) in the next two years.” added Smara.

Hailing the efforts of the Federation in their commitment of growing the game and making it accessible to all, Rugby World Rugby Chairman, Bill Beaumont stated: “I would like to congratulate UAE Rugby and the UAE Ministry of Education on this landmark agreement that will significantly boost the ongoing development of the game in the UAE. Get Into Rugby is a wonderful introductory vehicle for girls and boys to begin their rugby journey and learn and live the values of the sport. We applaud the UAE Federation’s continued drive and approach to laying solid foundations to realise a stronger, sustainable game for the future of the sport.”

Arab Rugby Sevens Jordan 2017

All-Emirati Side Representing UAE At Arab 7’s In Jordan

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UAE Rugby will be represented by an all-Emirati men’s 7-a-side at this coming weekend’s Arab 7’s tournament.

In its third year, the tournament will be played in Jordan over the coming weekend of Friday October 6th, and Saturday October 7th.

“Our board has selected a side of strong, experienced Emirati rugby players, with only one new player making his 7’s debut.” said UAE Rugby Federation Board Member Mohamed Shaker. “We are looking forward to very competitive games, as our Pool consists of very capable teams which we will not underestimate. We are confident our players will put forward a very strong challenge and produce the winning results.”

UAE kick-off their campaign, on Friday, against Iraq at 10:30, followed by Jordan at 14:00, finish day one’s pool games with Libya at 18:30 (times local).

Asia Rugby Conference 2017 Dubai, UAE

UAE Rugby applauds successful Asia Rugby Conference

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UAE Rugby recently hosted the annual Asia Rugby Conference, for 2017, which focused on key topics of Leading Rugby and Growing the Game within the Asian Unions.

“UAE Rugby was extremely honoured to be the host for the 2017 Asia Rugby Conference, and we were exceptionally pleased to have the full, and unwavering support of World Rugby” commented Secretary General UAE Rugby and Honorary Secretary General Asia Rugby, Qais Al Dhalai. “Asia Rugby is at an exciting stage in its growth and development, and the opportunities that presented themselves to our Unions, through the 4-day conference, provide for very exciting years to come, in and for our sport.”

Asia Rugby is at an exciting stage in its growth and development

For the first 2-days, 17 delegates from 10 countries participated in the Conference’s ‘Leading Rugby’ focus, discussing and analysing aspects of governance, administration, capitalising on commercial opportunities and effective communication tools. The conference then moved into the 2-day Growing the Game focus, where a historic 44 representatives from 24 countries were actively involved in workshops and presentations including; growing girls and women’s participation, safeguarding and player welfare, and World Rugby’s ‘IMPACT Beyond RWC 2019’.

“Asia Rugby has embarked on an ambitious plan to increase its rugby population by an additional 1 million new participants, through the Asia 1 Million project.” said Al Dhalai.

“On behalf of UAE Rugby, and Asia Rugby, I extend our sincere gratitude to all Unions who attended, and to the presenters for sharing their expertise and knowledge on best practices that each Union can adapt and incorporate into their everyday management. I am delighted that all delegates were energized from this conference, and we look forward to working with each Union in our bid to make Rugby in Asia the leading sport.” Al Dhalai said in closing.

UAE Rugby Sevens U17 Asia Chinese Taipei 2017

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The U17 UAE Rugby Sevens squad have headed out to Taiwan to play in a Youth Olympic Games Qualifier which takes place this weekend (9th-10th September) in the Tainan Municipal Stadium. They face against hosts, Chinese Taipei, followed by Hong Kong, India and finally Malaysia in the pool competition. Hopefully then qualifying for either the Cup or Plate finals which will be held on Sunday.

U17 UAE Rugby Squad Announced

Congratulations to the squad members below, who were announced on Wednesday by Head Coach Apollo Perelini of the UAE Rugby Federation.

  1. Abdallah Rabee Marzouq – Sharjah
  2. Ali Salem Ali Barmen – Al Fujairah
  3. Mayed Mohamed Khamis – Al Fujairah
  4. Mohamed Hasan Lateef Mohamed – Sharjah
  5. Mubarak Saif Mubarak – Al Ain
  6. Nawaf Abdulla Suwaid – Al Ain
  7. Nayef Abdulla Suwaid – Al Ain
  8. Obaid Mohamed Abdalla Alblooshi – Al Fujairah
  9. Rashed Saqer Ibrahim Almarzooqi – Ajman
  10. Salem Saeed Adbulla – Al Ain
  11. Saif Juma Rashed – Al Ain
  12. Saoud Salem Obaid – Al Ain

Under 17 Emirati rugby-training with Apollo Perelini

U17 UAE Rugby Schedule

Saturday 9th September 2017

UAE vs Chinese Taipei
UAE vs Hong Kong
UAE vs India

Sunday 10th September 2017

UAE vs Malaysia
Semi Final

uae rugby clubs infographic 2016 - 2017

UAE Rugby Club Infographic 2016/17

As the new UAE Rugby Season 2017/18 draws closer, we take a look at some of the numbers from last season with an infographic based on UAE rugby players registered with each club, aged between 5 and 60.

Our aim of the rugby infograph is to hopefully provide you with some quick insights into the various rugby teams in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ras al-Khaimah.

Please note all figures provided to Yalla Rugby by the UAERF for the 2016/17 UAE rugby season.

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guide to uae rugby clubs

As it’s the 1st of August 2017, today marks Yalla Rugby’s 2nd birthday!

two years old today Yalla Rugby

It all seems so long ago when we first launched our rugby website, but it’s actually only been 2 years today. Back in 2015, the Gulf rugby coverage was pretty minimal and there was no central place online that brought the rugby fans all of the UAE Rugby Clubs information.

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Now with over 20,000 people using the website from all corners of the planet, we’re gearing up for another action-packed rugby season 2017/18.

Still very much in our infancy, we’ve had a cracking 2 years of covering all of the Emirates rugby and we’re really looking forward to growing alongside the local rugby here in the Middle East.

Some thanks…

We’d like to thank the UAE Rugby Federation for their help and support.

Also, a huge thanks goes out to our fantastic local rugby clubs and their team players, who have kept us extremely busy over the past two seasons with our UAE rugby gallery.

Finally, and most importantly, we’d like to say a huge thank you to you, the readers and fans of Yalla Rugby. Without your continued loyalty and support, there would be no Yalla Rugby.

uae rugby images

A Small Free Gift For You!

So… as a small thank you, we’re giving you one free, un-licensed image from our Match Day Gallery.

All you have to do is email us with a snapshot of the image that you would like – to info[at]

Hurry though, this offer is only valid for today (1st August 2017).

uaerf u18 girls rugby paris world games 2017

UAE Rugby Federation’s U18 Emirati girls continue their firsts by participating in the third edition of the Paris World Games, commencing Saturday July 8th (2017) in Paris, France.

For the first time, and with a focus on Paris’s 2024 Olympic hosting bid, the games will expand from solely hosting football to include badminton, basketball, handball, volleyball and sevens rugby. It is anticipated that over 700 teams across the five sports will compete over the week-long games.

In preparation of Rugby’s two-day tournament, UAE Rugby’s U18 Emirati girls team will participate in a 4-day training camp at France Rugby’s centre national du rugby, Marcoussis, France.

“This is an incredible milestone for UAE Rugby and for Emirati women in sport.”

UAE Rugby Board Member, Fawzia Faridoon said; “This is an incredible milestone for UAE Rugby and for Emirati women in sport.” “UAE Rugby’s coaching and development staff, our RDO Manager Sami Smara, Girls RDO Amira Ben Fikh Ali and Head Coach Apollo Perelini, have shown absolute commitment in growing the confidence and skills of our burgeoning Under 18 Emirati girls team, and we are thrilled to be participating in the 2017 Paris World Games.”

“UAE Rugby Federation recently entered into a long-term agreement with France Rugby to develop all levels of our player, and we are delighted to be able to use the facilities at their world-renowned National Centre ahead of the games.” added Faridoon.

UAE Rugby Federation Chairman, Sheikh Mohammed bin Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, was on hand at the team’s final Dubai training to wish them well in their campaign.

united arab emirates rugby team 2017

Perelini’s eyes firmly fixed on next weeks Asia Rugby Division One championship in Malaysia.

Yalla Rugby were lucky enough to be invited to Apollo Perelini’s last training camp before the upcoming Asia Rugby Division One Championship in Ipoh, Malaysia.

apollo perelini uae rugby coach 2017

The UAE Rugby National squad, are up against Malaysia, Philippines and Sri Lanka with the prospect of qualifying for the 2019 World Cup in Japan up for grabs for the table topping team. We ask Perelini how his squad preparations have been coming on;

“It’s taken a little longer to get ready for the championship because of the players club commitments which narrowed down my contact with them, but the last two weeks and two warm up matches against tough Premiership and Conference Barbarian sides have brought the team closer and therefore team structures have been easier to put in place.”

“I’m happy, the team is coming together nicely with the Championship starting next week.” said Perelini.

uae rugby training

Over the past 3 years, the standard of playing rugby in the United Arab Emirates has improved a tremendous amount, with increased interest in the sport from all ages and abilities.

The quality of players and coaching has improved the competition within domestic rugby.”

Perelini said: “The quality of players and coaching has improved the competition within domestic rugby, which makes things easier for me when choosing players to represent the UAE, however we still have a long way to go in some areas.”

With the team setting out, not only to just compete, but actually win next weeks Asia Rugby Division One championship, local UAE rugby clubs could really feel the benefit from a successful campaign in Malaysia.

Perelini believes that the quality of rugby will only increase if they (UAE Rugby) make the top tier of Asia Rugby. He said: “The challenge I guess, will be how we keep these full-time, employed players committed and whether they can improve their skills if they’re not professionals, unlike some countries which are now fully professional.”

Asia Rugby Division One Championship rugby training with Apollo Perelini

Perelini has picked a 28-man squad for the three-match tour in Malaysia, with Jebel Ali Dragons dominating the selection with eight players picked. There are six from Dubai Hurricanes, five each from Abu Dhabi rivals Harlequins and Saracens, two from Dubai Exiles and two UAE Shaheen.

We’d like to wish Apollo and the UAE National rugby team the very best of luck and will keep you all up to date with their progress in the competition, which starts on the 14th May against Malaysia, then on the 17th they face Sri Lanka followed by their final game on the 20th against the Philippines.

By Alex Johnson

UAERF sign MoU with FFR

UAERF Sign MoU With The French Rugby Federation (FFR)

The UAERF have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the French Rugby Federation (FFR) where they hope to establish and implement a strategic partnership aimed at developing 7’s and XV’s players, coaches and match officials.

“Entering into this partnership, at this stage of UAE Rugby’s rapid growth, is very exciting.” said Qais Al Dhalai Secretary General UAERF.

Fédération Française de Rugby uae rugby

“Together, we (UAERF and FFR) have identified various training camps and tournaments for the benefit of our 7’s and XV’s players, as well as various training and officiating opportunities for UAERF’s match officials throughout the term of this partnership. As the recognised sports-hub in the Middle East we are thrilled to be in a position to utilise many of the UAE’s diverse high-class training facilities for these activities, and similarly the well-regarded FFR National Center of Rugby in Marcoussis (France)”. “We are looking forward to finalising these opportunities and to working closely with Bernard and his team.” added Al Dhalai.

That is why we want to work closely with the United Arab Emirates Rugby Federation”

“The overall future of our sport will come through its development into new territories. This is crucial if we want to expand its popularity and the number of players to last. This international development has to come through the Middle East.” Bernard Laporte, President Fédération Française de Rugby said. “That is why we want to work closely with the United Arab Emirates Rugby Federation; to actively participate in rugby development in this area of the world by giving UAERF players and officials the possibility to benefit from our human and material means to work and improve their performance.”

Officiating today’s MoU signing was Qais Al Dhalai, Secretary General UAERF and Bernard Laporte, President of Fédération Française de Rugby.

uae rugby award ceremony winners 2016-17

Annual Rugby Awards Ceremony 2016/17 – Hosted By UAERF

The UAE Rugby Federation (UAERF) hosted their annual awards ceremony last Saturday afternoon at the Metropolitan Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai.

Both 2015/16 and 2016/17 awards took place on the day. Winners are shortlisted below for both seasons:

Skip to section:


UAE rugby awards 2016/17

2016/17 nominations categories are as follows:

Click to view nominations:

Senior Player Of The Season – 2016/17
Senior Emirati Of The Season – 2016/17
Women’s Player Of The Season – 2016/17
Coach Of The Season – 2016/17
Best Mini Expat Player Of The Season – 2016/17
Best Youth Expat Player Of The Season – 2016/17
Best Mini Emirati Player Of The Season – 2016/17
Best Youth Emirati Player Of The Season – 2016/17
Fair Play Team Of The Season – 2016/17
Volunteer Of The Season – 2016/17
Referee Of The Season – 2016/17
Neil Palmer Award – 2016/17

Senior Player Of The Season

  • Ben Bolger (WINNER)
  • Joseph Corcoran
  • Dan Crumplin
  • Jon Price
  • Derrick Treday
  • David Knight
  • Glenn Moore
  • Ed Armitage
  • Kini Natuna
  • Epeli Davetawala
  • Brian Geraghty
  • Jonathan Taylor
  • Rikus Swart
  • Benjamin Van Rooyen
  • Rob Grant
  • Derek Robson

Senior Emirati Of The Season

  • Mohamed Al Marar (WINNER)
  • Walid Salem
  • Majid Al Balooshi
  • Ibrahim Doraee
  • Dennis Ahmed
  • Mansour Al Zaabi
  • Mohamad Hassan
  • Saif Al Hammadi

Women’s Player Of The Season

  • Betty Nash (WINNER)
  • Helen Amos
  • Lisa-Marie Murphy
  • Sian Williams
  • Courtney Anderson
  • Mary Vaa
  • Fiona Scally
  • Bernie Bray
  • Holly Stapleton
  • Lucie Rucher
  • U15 Girls Touch
  • Bridie Johnson
  • Hollie Murphy

Coach Of The Season

  • Mike McFarlene (WINNER)
  • Apollo Perelini
  • Adrian Cartwright
  • Marty Carrahar
  • Mike Pugsley
  • Don Muir
  • Jacques Benade
  • Craig Du Randt
  • Rocco De Bruyn
  • Terry Rooke
  • Patrice Saragaglia
  • Eric Deviras
  • Stephen Cheesebrough
  • William Maloney

Best Mini Expat Player Of The Season

  • Cole Inker (WINNER)
  • Phillip Mow
  • Juan Cruz
  • Tayne Stannard
  • Dylan Fardoun
  • Hayden Gilmore
  • Ollie Erwin
  • Ethan Wood
  • Omar Bahri
  • Lenny Riviere
  • Joey Visser
  • George Holmes

Best Youth Expat Player Of The Season

  • Alistair Hess (WINNER)
  • Thomad Lewis
  • Jamie MacKinnon
  • Chloe Williams
  • Jayden Bell
  • Ryno De Bruyn
  • Amirou Sanoussy
  • Andrew Macaskill
  • Paul Tesse
  • Gabriel Dehm
  • Max Lewis Palmer

Best Mini Emirati Player Of The Season

  • Khalifa Said Mohammad Al Harmoudi (WINNER)
  • Mohammed Al Kos
  • Buddor Al Kos
  • Sultan Al Mail

Best Youth Emirati Player Of The Season

  • Asma Al Zaabi (WINNER)
  • Abdullah Gobash
  • Hussain Abu Baker
  • Sophie Shams

Fair Play Team Of The Season

  • RAK Rocks (WINNER)
  • UAE Shaheen
  • Dubai Sharks
  • Heartbeat Tigers
  • Dubai Hurricanes Womens
  • Dubai Exiles Adult Touch
  • Dubai Exiles U19 Girls
  • Al Ain Amblers U19 Girls
  • Abu Dhabi Harlequins U11
  • Mike Ballard Foundation Conquistadors
  • Abu Dhabi Harlequins U6
  • Al Ain Amblers U14
  • Arabian Knights U12

Volunteer Of The Season

  • Mike Ballard Foundation Committee (WINNER)
  • Jaco Naude
  • Etienne Masson
  • Jamie Webb
  • Ric Lambert
  • Jill Riding
  • Marc Why
  • Robb Botes
  • Rocco De Bruyn
  • Lisa Irwin
  • Molly Scragg
  • Theodore Engh
  • Hassiba Darcy
  • Leigh Couzens
  • Elaine Harbour
  • Mark Timmermans

Referee Of The Season

  • Norman Drake (WINNER)
  • Eugene Deegan
  • Hermann Frankurth
  • Tony Duminy
  • Gabriel Masenda
  • Michael Korff
  • Adrienne Speedy
  • Jean-Louis Trons
  • Patrice Calvet
  • Grant Bateman

Neil Palmer Award

  • Manu Vilsoni (WINNER)
  • Ben Rothwell
  • Mike Wolff
  • Steve Holden
  • Derren Sanders
  • Sarah Sanders
  • Apollo Perelini

UAE rugby awards 2015/16

2015/16 nominations categories are as follows:

Click to view nominations:

Senior Player Of The Season – 2015/16
Senior Emirati Of The Season – 2015/16
Women’s Player Of The Season – 2015/16
Coach Of The Season – 2015/16
Best Mini Expat Player Of The Season – 2015/16
Best Youth Expat Player Of The Season – 2015/16
Best Mini Emirati Player Of The Season – 2015/16
Best Youth Emirati Player Of The Season – 2015/16
Fair Play Team Of The Season – 2015/16
Volunteer Of The Season – 2015/16
Referee Of The Season – 2015/16

Senior Player Of The Season

  • Durandt Gerber (WINNER)
  • William Umu
  • Alaa Samman
  • Paul Hardiman
  • Durandt Gerber
  • Joseph Corcoran
  • Shane Hart-Jones
  • Heinrich Bezuidenhout
  • Andy Fenlon
  • Isaac Porter
  • Kiniviliame Natuna
  • Ben Blamire
  • Xavier Brot
  • Dave Ermerins
  • Gart Van Nierkirk
  • Paul Hindshaw
  • Ross Samson
  • Karl McGowan

Senior Emirati Of The Season

  • Ahmed Moosa (WINNER)
  • Mansour Al Zaabi
  • Khalid Al Junaibi
  • Fahad Ali
  • Sultan Al Kaabi
  • Ahmed Moosa
  • Cyrus Pourhoumayoum
  • Mohamad Hassan
  • Ebrahim Doraee

Women’s Player Of The Season

  • Fiona Scally (WINNER)
  • Jade Cunningham
  • Tara Cooney
  • Abu Dhabi French Girls U15
  • Dawn Stevens
  • Alaina Leddy
  • Claire Maria Tiatia
  • Kelly Kels
  • Holly Stapleton

Coach Of The Season

  • Jaques Benade (WINNER)
  • Mike McFarlane
  • Mike Pugsley
  • Richard Battley
  • George Cliffe
  • Nic Walters
  • Duncan Walker
  • Nicolas Segurens
  • Stephen Rea
  • Yousef Shaker
  • Sami Smara
  • Jeremia Kilicanasau
  • Adrian Cartwright
  • Ian Jones
  • Will Walker
  • Bruce Pendrey

Best Mini Expat Player Of The Season

  • Joey Visser (WINNER)
  • Sam Westmacott
  • Sufian Al Alami
  • Dorian Blais
  • Harry Binks
  • Robert Jackson
  • Roman Morgan
  • Peter White

Best Youth Expat Player Of The Season

  • Ryno De Bruyn (WINNER)
  • Alex Connington
  • Laith Al Nalbani
  • Tayne Stannard
  • Max Lewis-Palmer
  • Tille Nordine Witkowski
  • Johnathan Rath
  • Jerry Jnr Kilicanasau
  • Ben Hatcher
  • Joe Haynes

Best Mini Emirati Player Of The Season

  • Ahmed Saleh Al Hameree (WINNER)
  • Zayed Bakhet Al Musaabi

Best Youth Emirati Player Of The Season

  • Mohammad Sulaiman Al Nuaimi (WINNER)
  • Sophie Shams
  • Saif Al Shamsi
  • Faleh Al Ansari
  • Obaid Al Dhari

Fair Play Team Of The Season

  • Abu Dhabi Saracens 2nd XV (WINNER)
  • RAK Rocks
  • Dubai Warriors U11
  • Arabian Knights U14
  • Dubai Hurricanes U10
  • Al Ain Amblers 2nd XV
  • Al Ain Amblers Wolves U19
  • Arabian Knights Mens
  • Jebel Ali Dragons
  • Dubai Hurricanes 3rd XV
  • Al Ain Amblers U13
  • Jebel Ali Dragons 3rd XV

Volunteer Of The Season

  • Rupert Baird (WINNER)
  • Rory Greene
  • Latifa Al Redha
  • Drew Frankin
  • Cecile De Scally
  • Gareth Venter
  • Hassiba Darcy
  • Fergus Ludden
  • Kellen Hutchinson
  • Leigh Couzens
  • Victoria Posimani
  • Jamie Webb
  • Claire Hill
  • Maniue Vilsoni

Referee Of The Season

  • Tony Duminy (WINNER)
  • Adrienne Speedy
  • Dominic Whiting
  • Herman Frankfurth
  • Eugene Deegan
  • Chris Linwood
  • Grant Bateman
  • Wilfred Petersen
  • Martin jennings
  • Michael Broadrick

uae rugby grand finals 2016 17

Inaugural UAE Rugby Grand Finals Day to be played On Friday April 7th

UAE Rugby will host their inaugural Grand Finals Day on Friday, April 7th, at Dubai Sports City’s Rugby Park in Dubai.

In a first for the Federation, the UAERF Grand Finals are the culmination of UAE Rugby’s Community, Conference and Premiership league fixtures played over the 2016/2017 rugby season.

“We are extremely pleased to bring the inaugural UAE Rugby Grand Finals Day to our rugby-loving community. Each year we are thrilled with the level of rugby we witness across our domestic league, and the finals have always drawn enthusiastic supporters. We are confident that bringing all three leagues together into one day will enhance the excitement and raise the profile of the league’s top-ranked teams.” said Qais Al Dhalai, UAE Rugby Secretary General.

Finals games kick off at 1pm with Abu Dhabi Harlequins competing against Jebel Ali Dragons in the third-tier Community League, followed at 3pm with two deciding games from the second-tier Conference League; Bottom 5 between Heartbeat Tigers and Dubai Sharks and Top 6 between Al Ain Amblers and Abu Dhabi Harlequins. At 5pm, the Federation’s elite Premiership League will play-out between Abu Dhabi Harlequins and Jebel Ali Dragons.

Alongside this rugby-fest will be mouth-watering food and beverage options as well as fantastic giveaways and prizes. Entry to join in the Finals Day fun, and watch quality domestic rugby, is free.

Why not re-live all of the 2016/17 UAE Rugby season by viewing our Match Day Photo Gallery.

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