x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Fijian Epeli Lagiloa appointed new UAE rugby union team coach

Performance manager, who succeeds Duncan Hall, will take charge of all-Emirati UAE side for Asian Sevens Series in August, reports Paul Radley.

Epeli Lagiloa of Fiji speaks during a news conference announcing him as UAE Rugby's new performance manager.
Epeli Lagiloa of Fiji speaks during a news conference announcing him as UAE Rugby's new performance manager.

DUBAI // The UAE Rugby Federation has appointed Epeli Lagiloa as the new performance manager for the sport here.

The 65 year old Fijian has been instilled as the replacement for Duncan Hall, the former Australia Test player who stepped down from the role last month.

Lagiloa, who has been in the country for six days, is tasked with driving the Federation's three-year plan to develop the game, as well as revive the fortunes of the national team following relegation from the Asian Five Nations last season.

"I'm delighted to be in the UAE and fully understand the challenges that lie ahead," said Lagiloa, who has already overseen two session with the Emirati Shaheen squad.

"Initially I will make an assessment of all the national squads before initiating a programme, which will be challenging and enjoyable."

Lagiloa's first official duties will be taking charge of an all-Emirati UAE side for the Asian Sevens Series, starting in Malaysia at the end of August.

"We see this as a significant moment in UAE rugby history and look forward to improved performances on the field," said Mohammed Falaknaz, the Federation chairman.

pradley@thenational.ae

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