There was an extremely competitive yet friendly atmosphere at the HSBC Rugby Festival Dubai 2018.
Now in its ninth year, the tournament, held over the weekend of January 26-27, celebrates the excitement, diversity and enjoyment that rugby offers by bringing together over 270 teams from 20 clubs throughout the GCC region.
That’s around 3,000 of the finest young players performing across one spectacular weekend.
As in previous years, the festival was jointly organised on behalf of HSBC by Dubai Hurricanes and Dubai Exiles, with in excess of 600 games being played across the two days.
Aside from getting the opportunity to play at a the fantastic Sevens Stadium, a number of the teams got the chance to strut their stuff into front of former England and British & Irish Lions international Lewis Moody.
A member of England’s 2003 World Cup winning side, he was clearly impressed by the exceptional standard of rugby and the camaraderie among the young players.
“They never gave up, never backed down and fought to the end,” he said. Moody was just one among approximately 8,000 spectators who were enthralled by roughly 10,000 minutes of high-quality rugby.
Peter Clapp, joint event director from Canes, said: “Over the two-day festival there were 110 well-earned trophies presented, underlining the organising body’s commitment to doing everything possible to ensure all of the young players left with the festival etched in their minds forever, ready to return next year for another enjoyable weekend of rugby.
“Each and every one of the youngsters played hard and played fair. Easy to start, tricky to stop and impossible to forget.”
Role of honour
U6: Winners Tigers, runners-up Dubai Hurricanes
U7: Winners Dubai Exiles, runners-up Dubai Hurricanes
U8: Winners Tigers, runners-up Dubai Hurricanes
U9: Winners Dubai Exiles, runners-up Tigers
U10: Winners Dubai Hurricanes, runners-up Dubai Exiles
U11: Winners Abu Dhabi Harlequins, runners-up Arabian Knights
U12: Winners Tigers, runners-up Dubai Hurricanes
U13: Winners Dubai Hurricanes, runners-up Dubai Exiles
U14: Winners Dubai Exiles, runners-up Dubai Hurricanes
U16: Winners Abu Dhabi Harlequins, runners-up Dubai Exiles
U19: Winners Dubai Hurricanes, runners-up Dubai Hurricanes
U12 girls: Winners Arabian Knights, runners-up Dubai Exiles
U15 girls: Winners Arabian Knights, runners-up Dubai Exiles
U19 girls: Winners Dubai Exiles, runners-up Al Ain
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