DUBAI // Duncan Murray, the former Wales schoolboy international, is contemplating a return against doctor's orders for Dubai Hurricanes in their Gulf Cup semi-final against Doha today. The Hurricanes centre has been sidelined for most of the season after breaking his leg in an encounter with their city rivals, Dubai Dragons. He has yet to resume contact work in training, and has been advised to wait for a fortnight longer before playing again.
However, Murray is pondering a return as the defending Gulf League champions struggle to cope with the unavailability of a variety of players. The cup provides their last realistic chance of silverware, but they will take the field against a vastly-improved Doha without their first-choice No 10 Chris Doyle. They are also without three players, including the captain, Chris Gregory, as they are part of the 16-man extended Gulf squad for the World Cup Sevens.
Their resources are stretched to the limit because their second XV will be playing their own semi-final in the Bowl competition at Sharjah Wanderers. "I'm waiting for the season to finish," said the Hurricanes coach, Steve Holohan, about the availability malaise. "Doha have been strong at home, but don't travel so well. We are still confident we can win and have the fact we are playing at home to our advantage."
Abu Dhabi Harlequins continue their search for a treble - their stated intention at the start of the campaign - when they host Bahrain in the other semi-final at Al Ghazal today. Quins top the Super Five competition, and are one point behind the in-form Dragons in the Gulf Premiership. firstname.lastname@example.org