Singapore v United Arab Emirates in Dubai (Asia Nations Division 1)
Venue: The Sevens
Referee: Taizo Hirabayashi (Japan)
The first match in the 2014 Asia Nations competition sees United Arab Emirates host Singapore in Dubai. For both teams a new rugby chapter opens.
Last year the Emirates side was relegated from the Asia 5 Nations competition, the elite level of Asia 15’s men’s rugby. It was a great disappointment for the Gulf area as the original Arabian Gulf RFU had been at the elite level since the Asian competition was revamped.
Singapore is not new to Division 1. Relegated from a brief stint at the elite level in 2009. They lost two Division 1 finals in 2010 and 2011. They then found themselves relegated down to Division 2 in 2012 but fought their way back up to Division 1 for this season.
The Emirates side this year is an inexperienced side but sees the return of veteran Chris Burch to lead the team.
The Emirates side has proven to be below the strength of the original Arabian Gulf side. Singapore to win.
These two sides have never met before.
GWC Rugby Rankings
Asia Table: UAE 5th, Singapore 8th
IRB Ranking Points
Singapore 44.54, UAE 30.00
Note: UAE started on 30.00 when their union was reformed.
Prediction : Singapore by 10 points
Ali Ghulam Shaheen
Adam Telford Jebel Ali Dragons
Jay Danielson Abu Dhabi Saracens
Mohamed Hassan Arabian Knights
Rossouw van Dijk Arabian Knights
Joe Cooper Jebel Ali Dragons
Mark Weissenborn Dubai Hurricanes
Graham Murphy Abu Dhabi Harlequins
Pete Sampson Abu Dhabi Saracens
Riaan Boshoff Abu Dhabi Saracens
James Parker Dubai Hurricanes
Chris Jones-Griffiths Abu Dhabi Harlequins
Daniel Minks Jebel Ali Dragons
Cyrus Homayoun Jebel Ali Dragons
Adel Alhendi Abu Dhabi Harlequins first test
Neil Robert Pommerel Abu Dhabi Saracens
Mohammad Alawi Shaheen
Ray Gilburt Jebel Ali Dragons
Jono Bester Xodus Wasps
Michael Lancaster Xodus Wasps
Charlie Sargent Dubai Exiles
Chris Burch Dubai Hurricanes (Capt.) Age 35
Gareth Armstrong Xodus Wasps
James Elliot-Square Dubai Hurricanes
Head Coach: Roelof Kotze,
Singapore Squad not available