x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Lewsey 'a boost for schools rugby'

The new man in charge of rugby at BSAK may have a tough act to follow, but he is already highly regarded within the corridors of power in UAE rugby.

ABU DHABI // The new man in charge of rugby at the British School Al Khubairat (BSAK) may have a tough act to follow, but he is already highly regarded within the corridors of power in UAE rugby.

Ed Lewsey, who will take over from Lyn Jones as the director of rugby at BSAK in September, was signed as a player by Ian Bremner, the chief executive of the Rugby Association, when he was in charge of Exeter Chiefs, who now play in the top-tier of English rugby, the Aviva Premiership.

Bremner, whose remit now includes the development of the school game in the Emirates, thinks Lewsey's recruitment is a boon for rugby in the capital.

"Ed was a tremendous servant of Exeter, his energy was boundless, and he was a great addition to the changing room," Bremner said.

"He built up a reputation very quickly as a good [PE and history] teacher.

"I am confident in saying he will be very fondly remembered at his former clubs because he gives 100 per cent-plus to everything he does.

"It is a boost for schools rugby in the UAE, which is clearly a big focus of ours, especially in Abu Dhabi."

Lewsey, a scrum-half-come-winger, studied to become a teacher while playing Championship-level rugby in England. Lewsey is the younger brother of former England player Josh.

"Ed has all the experience and skill it takes to build on Lyn's work here," Paul Coackley, the principal of BSAK, said.

"As a professional player he knows the game inside out. This, together with his experience as a teacher, makes him the ideal candidate to coach school rugby players and to continue the strategic development of the games at schools level in Abu Dhabi."