Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Simon Amor, here coaching the Sporting Chance Foundation on the first day of the Dubai Rugby 7s in November 27, 2008, will be back in Dubai this winter as coach of England's seven-a-side. Randi Sokoloff / The National
Simon Amor, here coaching the Sporting Chance Foundation on the first day of the Dubai Rugby 7s in November 27, 2008, will be back in Dubai this winter as coach of England's seven-a-side. Randi Sokoloff / The National

New England coach an old sevens rugby hand

It seems like only yesterday when Simon Amor, the ex-Gloucester scrum-half, was leading the rest of the world game a merry dance on the field of the old Dubai Exiles ground at Al Awir. Paul Radley comments.

Rugby sevens supporters of a certain vintage might have felt a pang of nostalgia this week when Simon Amor was announced as the new England coach in the format.

It will be good to have him back at the Dubai Rugby Sevens at the end of the year, even if the place has changed a little since he was last involved in the IRB men’s competition in the city. It seems like only yesterday that the ex-Gloucester scrum-half was leading the rest of the world game a merry dance on the field of the old Dubai Exiles ground at Al Awir.

It is nearly eight years since he captained England to back-to-back successes in the Emirates International Trophy in front of pulsating crowds packing the scaffolding stands at Dubai.

The 2005 side of Amor, Henry Paul, Mathew Tait and Tom Varndell must rank as one of the strongest to have won the sevens.

The site for those glories has long since been bulldozed and much of the competition looks totally different, too.

Amor’s re-entry into the series comes at a time when the abbreviated code is making a sharp ascent, fuelled by its impending admission into the Olympics. The format has changed significantly since he was part of it, but expect him to be up to speed immediately.

Amor was a sevens trendsetter and if he can match the success he had here as a player when he turns his hand to coaching, it will be the English supporters who will be laughing last come December.

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Lionel Richie performed many of his hits from the 1970s and 1980s at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. Jaime Puebla / The National

Lionel Richie dishes out the hits to Dubai crowd

At his Dubai concert on Thursday, Richie greeted the audience with “Yalla habibi” – a statement of intent as his energy rarely let up.

Tyrese reunited with Fazza

Tyrese today posted on his social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) his pleasure at being reunited with the Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

 Falconry is an activity where they demonstrate how falcons catch prey while flying at a speed of almost 360 kilometres per hour. Mona Al-Marzooqi / The National

In pictures: Adventure in the desert at Abu Dhabi's Qasr Al Sarab

Mohammad Ashfaq, an adventure guide at the Qasr Al Sarab resort, Abu Dhabi, showcases a day in his working life.

 Roberto Martinez is daring Everton to dream. Paul Ellis / AFP

Martinez v Moyes is a clash of purist v puritan

Roberto Martinez’s positivity made him the perfect choice in 2013 to manage Everton and to build on the solid foundations David Moyes had left.

Video: Local reactions to a national fishing ban

A federal fishing ban has been imposed by the UAE federal government, but local authorities are taking diiferent approaches to implementing the ban. Two fishermen tell two very different sides of the story. Produced by Paul O'Driscoll

 An Egyptian Orthodox Christian priest give communion during the Palm Sunday service inCairo, Egypt. Mohamed El-Shahed / AFP

Region in focus - April 18, 2014

The best images of the last seven days from around the Gulf and across the Middle East.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National