x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Former England prop enjoys new lease of life

Kevin Yates is so determined to return to Dubai next year, he has scored more tries in the past two days than he did in his entire career.

DUBAI // Former full England international Kevin Yates is so determined to return to Dubai next year, he has scored more tries in the past two days than he did in his entire career. The 37-year-old hung up his boots last season after finishing his career with Nice and has remained on the south coast of France to coach young players. This weekend, however, he has returned to the competitive fold to represent Christina Noble Veterans at the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens. And, having scored three tries in two matches, he is impressing.

"It's unbelievable," joked Yates, who helped his side to a 54-0 victory over the AGRFU yesterday. "I've got three [tries] so far in the tournament; which is nearly double my career total so I guess I'm doing alright. I just hope I've done enough to get the call next year as I'm really enjoying the opportunity to play rugby with old friends and against old friends." The prop collected four senior England caps between 1997 and 2007 and said he is using the thought of running out again in front of a packed house as motivation.

"It's a great atmosphere and a great stadium to be involved with and for us old fellas its nice if we can make the final and play in front of a big crowd again," he said. "I'm putting the time in so I hope so. Success is our number one priority. We are defending two years on the trot now so we can't come away without a win, that's what we are here for." Yates's side face Bone Steelers in the International Vets semi-final today at 2.20pm on Pitch Three. @Email:gmeenaghan@thenational.ae