x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Five Nations dilemma for Al Delamie

The international career of the Arabian Gulf's lone Arab player could be curtailed as a result of the global economic downturn.

DUBAI // The international career of the Arabian Gulf's lone Arab player could be curtailed as a result of the global economic downturn. Taif al Delamie, who is an Omani national, will be one of the key components of the Gulf's World Cup Sevens campaign in Dubai at the weekend. Ironically, despite being the sole Arab national in the Gulf squad, the winger is also the only player who lives outside the region.

He has been on a four-month sabbatical from his job as a personal trainer in Dublin, to prepare for the World Cup. He wants to stay on for an extra month, in order to assist the Gulf's 15-man side in their quest to return to the top rank of Asian rugby, via the HSBC Asian Five Nations Division One, a competition, staged at The Sevens ground in April that doubles as the beginning of the qualifying process for the 2011 World Cup.

However, al Delamie, 22, fears any more time off from work could cost him his job. He said: "When I am not working, they are missing out on a certain amount of income because I give a certain amount of money that I earn to them. "With the credit crunch, they would obviously prefer me to be back there. I have asked them if I can stay out for the Five Nations." With all the extra training the squad have done in readiness for this weekend, the Gulf should be well set to succeed in the Five Nations.

Al Delamie added: "I think the Gulf could do really well, and I feel it would be a bit of a waste to get fit and then not be able to make myself available for selection. "I'm hoping to stay out here. But if I don't have a job to go back to, then I'm in trouble." pradley@thenational.ae