x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Abu Dhabi Harlequins appoint UAE's first Arabic-speaking director of rugby

Rugby union club reach to Jordan's Ghaith Jalajel for top position, reports Paul Radley.

Ghaith Jalajel, left, will join Abu Dhabi Harlequins as the UAE's first Arabic-speaking director of rugby.
Ghaith Jalajel, left, will join Abu Dhabi Harlequins as the UAE's first Arabic-speaking director of rugby.
ABU DHABI // Abu Dhabi Harlequins have become the first UAE club to appoint an Arabic-speaking director of rugby, having recruited Ghaith Jalajel for the role.
The former Jordan hooker will travel to the capital from Amman next week to take up the newly restructured, full-time position at Quins.
"I spent nine years coaching in UAE before, and I am eager to get back," said Jalajel, who formerly played for Dubai Exiles.
"I have a good idea how things work there and hope it will be fairly easy to fit back in. The club has a good system in place and I hope to be able to grow it."
Jalajel formerly worked as the rugby development officer for the Arabian Gulf and the body which replaced the multi-state union, the UAE Rugby Federation.
He left that role in October 2011, but Andy Cole, the former chairman of the Arabian Gulf who now serves in the same role at Harlequins, was keen to reinvest in Jalajel's expertise.
"Ghaith is flying in from Jordan next week and he will be tasked with looking after the development of our mini and youth players, as well as going into local schools," Cole said.
"He has the experience of the Arabian Gulf when he was instrumental in getting rugby into eight [Emirati] schools through the Princess Haya Initiative.
"It will be good to have him back on board to help us try to reconnect with some of the Arabic schools in Abu Dhabi."
The directorship position is a different guise to what it had been while Chris Davies held that title for the past two seasons.
The role has been split into two posts, with Jalajel tasked with junior development, while Jeremy Manning will oversee the running of the senior mens teams as the club's head coach.
pradley@thenational.ae
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