Friday, April 10, 2009

Asia Rugby Division 1 Final

Arabian Gulf v China Taipei in Dubai (WCQ Asia R1; Asia Nations Div.1, Final)

These two teams reached the final due to wins mid-week. Arabian Gulf defeated Thailand 36-17 and China Taipei defeated Sri Lanka 36-24.

The future of the Arabian Gulf Rugby Union is under a cloud following the decision some of the member nations to become rugby entities on their own. Despite this the AG is determined to get back into the premier Asian rugby competition, the Asia 5 Nations.

China Taipei were once ranked 3rd among all Asia rugby nations. In more recent times they have struggled and will continue to struggle even if they gain promotion into the premier league. They toured Hong Kong in February this yearand shared the 'rubber' 1-1 with Hong Kong 'A'. Hong Kong struggled themselves in last year's Asia 5 Nations.

Whatever happens the tournament is a great showcase for rugby in an area of the world where soccer and cricket are the main sporting passions.

China Taipei had to work hard to defeat Sri Lanka on Wednesday. Image thanks to

Previous Encounter

These two teams have met only once before. Arabian Gulf winning 30-26 in Bahrain in May 2005, during the 2007 Rugby World Cup Asian qualifying rounds.

GWC Rugby Rankings: Asia Table-Arabian Gulf 6th, China Taipei 7th

Prediction: The locals to win narrowly and play in the premier league for 2010. Arabian Gulf by 7 points.


Arabian Gulf Squad
Christopher Deacon (Dubai Exiles)
Christopher Gregory (Dubai Hurricanes)
Mark Gathercole (Dubai Exiles)
Daniel Heal (Dubai Dragons)
Alan Short (Dubai Hurricanes)
Michael Cox-Hill (Dubai Hurricanes)
Steven Huber (Dubai Hurricanes)
Karl Sutcliffe (Muscat RFC)
David Clark (Captain, Dubai Exiles)
Edward Nicholas (Dubai Exiles)
Daniel Talbot (Dubai Dragons
Sean Smith (Dubai Exiles)
Marthinus Neethling (Dubai Exiles)

Jonhn MacDonald (Abu Dhabi Harlequins)
Luke Sinclair (Dubai Exiles)
Joshua Sherrin (Dubai Hurricanes)
Taif Al Delamie (Vice-Captain, Muscat RFC)
Marcus Smith (Dubai Exiles)
Brett Williams (Dubai Exiles)
Khalid Helal (English College)
Paul Beard (Dubai Exiles)
Daniel Patching (Dubai Exiles)
Steven Smith (Dubai Hurricanes)
Sean Hurley (Dubai Dragons)
Gerry Considine (Dubai Hurricanes)
Rama Chand (Dubai Hurricanes)
Head Coach: Bruce Birtwistle

China Taipei
Squad not yet available.

For complete lists of all international test matches played by both Arabian Gulf and China Taipei go to

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