Young Emirati Mohammed Abbas has retained his place in UAE’s Rugby Sevens squad for this weekend’s Mumbai Sevens – the third tournament of the 2012 HSBC Asian Rugby 7’s series.
The 22-year-old was a notable inclusion in Duncan Hall’s 12-man squad for their last outing in Shanghai last month when the UAE finished eighth.
He will be hoping for an improved showing at Mumbai’s prestigious Bombay Gymkhana stadium as UAE make their final appearance of the 2012 series.
A total of 16 teams are expected to participate which will make the Mumbai 7’s the largest tournament in the series to date.
Wayne Marsters Team Coach and UAE Rugby’s Rugby Manager claims his charges have taken valuable experience from competing in the first two rounds of the series and believes they have aptitude and attitude to finish higher than the eighth place they enter the tournament at.
“Both Borneo and Shanghai gave us the opportunity to blood new players and expose them to a more intense, cohesive playing style” said Marsters.
“We anticipate that our first two games (on Saturday) will be very demanding, we are expecting to be challenged physically and mentally,” he added.
“But we are ready to step up, we are definitely fitter and have implemented more assertive, effective plays into our game (and) we are aiming to finish the 2012 series at least one place higher.
“We are encouraged by the development of the team, as a whole, and individually through preparations and participation in this series” said Qais Al Dhalai, Deputy General of UAE Rugby.
“We are looking forward to seeing how the team performs this weekend and believe they will put in a very competitive performance”.
UAE Rugby has been drawn into Pool D with Hong Kong, Thailand and hosts India. Saturday’s (Day 1) draw sees UAE play their first game against Thailand at 9.30am, followed by Hong Kong at 12.30pm and finishing Day 1 against India at 2.50pm (UAE times).
UAE Rugby’s squad
1. Byron Kraemer
2. Cyrus Homayoun
3. Mohannad Shaker
4. Imad Reyal
5. Brad Barker
6. Antoine Bertheuil
7. Jono Bester
8. Murray Strang
9. Chris Gregory
10. Mohammed Abbas
11. Patrick Hegarty
12. Steven Smith
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