DUBAI // As the winds of change start to gather pace in domestic rugby, Abu Dhabi Harlequins have moved to consolidate their squad after securing the services of Jeremy Manning for another season.
The former Munster and Newcastle fly-half was one of the outstanding players in UAE rugby last season after leaving the professional game in the UK to move to the capital.
Considering he is officially now an amateur player, the fitness instructor has remained very active in the sport this summer, touring Amsterdam, Ibiza and - this weekend - Britain on the sevens circuit.
The New Zealander's summer activity suggests he is now free of the knee complaint which blighted the second half of his UAE season, and also dented the Quins' chances of silverware on three fronts.
"We have Jeremy and the Bolger brothers [Sam and Ben] and are also looking at possible new recruits in the UK," Andy Cole, the Quins chairman, said on Friday.
Manning's retention could help offset some possible upheaval at the capital's leading club with the future of Murray Strang and Imad Reyal yet to be confirmed.
They are not the only club in a state of flux, with Dubai's two leading teams, Jebel Ali Dragons and the Hurricanes, appointing new coaches this summer.
Russ Huxtable, a level-three qualified coach, is set to take the reins at the Hurricanes after Chris Burch stepped down from his player-coach role at the end of the season.
The Dragons have moved to replaced Shane Thornton, who also moved aside following a triumphant final campaign in charge with a treble of major trophies.
Mike Reid remains in charge of the forward pack while Ross Mills will take overall charge of coaching at the Jebel Ali club.
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