‘Free’ Al Noobi feeling at home as an Arabian Knight

Martyn Thomas 10:56 28/01/2014
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Putting the boot in: Al Noobi.

Hassan Al Noobi is enjoying a debut season to be proud of with the Arabian Knights.

The Emirati has assumed a new position and kicking duties for the UAE Conference side, proving himself to be a promising player while breaking the 100-point barrier.

“I have got a lot better because they have given me a chance and allowed me to be free on the pitch,” Al Noobi revealed. “I feel very good because my team-mates have supported me, even when I have made mistakes. They are not shouting at me, they have let me be free.”

While the highlights have been many, Al Noobi is in no doubt what represents his lowest moment of the campaign.

“Oh, I felt very bad,” the 26-year-old says with a sigh as he reflects on the afternoon he came face-to-face with former club Xodus Wasps.

Having crossed Dubai last summer Al Noobi wanted to put on a show. Instead he left the action injured just a few minutes into the second half as the Knights went on to lose 46-25.

But though the club failed to push themselves into the top half before the Conference split in two this week, their converted full-back has been impressive.

Even if he admits 15 was not the number he wanted on his back at the start of the season.

“The coaches told me ‘Hassan, let’s try and play 15’. I played 15, scored two tries and they told me ‘Hassan, this is your best position’,” he remembered.

“I was not happy at first trying to play 15 but I played there and now I see that it is my best position.”

UAE Rugby Manager, Wayne Marsters, has watched Al Noobi develop from a Shaheen to national XVs player, and he’s a fan.

He said: “He was one of the first guys when I arrived back in the country (from Iran in 2011) that I thought showed some ability and some real talent. He’s very comfortable on the ball, has some ball skills and has played a lot of XVs.”

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