x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Dubai Hurricanes get help from Colin Charvis to prepare for new season

A visit from the former Wales player has been the highlight of the Dubai Hurricanes' preparations for the new season.

Colin Charvis, centre, held two training sessions with the Dubai Hurricanes.
Colin Charvis, centre, held two training sessions with the Dubai Hurricanes.

Having seen the summer recruitment drive taking place at the Abu Dhabi Harlequins, the Dubai Hurricanes know they face a battle to keep hold of their UAE Premiership title this season.

This week the defending champions called in some help from high places, ahead of today's Jamie Black memorial match at The Sevens.

Colin Charvis, the former Wales captain, helped out with Monday night training, then conducted a specialist session for the Hurricanes forwards on Wednesday evening.

The former British & Irish Lions flanker is a regular visitor to the city, and is the ambassador for the youth academy the Hurricanes oversee.

His input with the seniors this week has complemented a new system of coaching by committee at the club, following the appointment of a new head coach.

Chris Burch, a fly-half who hopes to continue as player as well as his coaching role, started in his new position two weeks ago.

One of his first tasks was to ensure a player capped 94 times in international rugby was not overawed by running a training session at the Dubai club

"I didn't want to throw Colin in at the deep-end on Monday, but on Wednesday he ran a 30 minute session with the forwards solely by himself," said the Australia-born coach, who is the assistant principal at Emirates International School.

Burch is approaching the role in a similar fashion to his predecessor James Ham, who has since returned to the playing ranks, by empowering senior players to be decision makers.

"After how the guys adapted to James's style of coaching we went down the same lines of allowing senior players to work with Chris to develop a game that we want," said Chris Gregory, the Hurricanes captain.

In the capital, Harlequins have been active in the transfer market in the off-season, as the Gulf Top Six and UAE Cup champions hone their bid for a clean sweep of trophies this season.

Imad Reyal, the UAE sevens flyer, has strengthened the side by joining from the Dubai Exiles.

pradley@thenational.ae

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