x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Dragons ready to banish Exiles in tough encounter

Shane Thornton will be looking to practise what he has been preaching when he turns out for the Dubai Dragons in their encounter with their city rivals, the Exiles, at The Sevens tonight.

DUBAI // Shane Thornton will be looking to practise what he has been preaching when he turns out for the Dubai Dragons in their encounter with their city rivals, the Exiles, at The Sevens tonight. The Dragons winger has been placed in charge of the Arabian Gulf sevens side. As such, he will be playing with and against a variety of players who are likely to be under his charge at the Dubai Rugby Sevens at the start of December.

The playing field will be littered with Gulf representatives tonight. The Exiles pack, in particular, is heavily laden with Gulf forwards, including the regional side's captain, Dave Clarke, as well as Ed Nicholas, Marthinus Neethling, Mark Gathercole, Chris Deacon, Phil Stevens, Sean Smith and Mike Riley. Much of the Dragons' recent success has been founded on their speedy back-line, yet they are ready for the forward threat posed by the Exiles.

But Angus King, in the Dragons second-row, said: "There will be no niceties when we get out there, and we are expecting a pretty brutal encounter. We under no illusions about what to expect." pradley@thenational.ae