x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

UAE rugby: Imad Reyal keen to remain with Abu Dhabi Harlequins

The coveted UAE fullback says he hopes to carry on playing for Quinss this season, so long as they can help transport him from his home in Dubai.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Sep 28, 2012 - IMAD REYAL (green) from Abu Dhabi Harlequins during a match against Jebel Ali Dragons at Zayed Sports City. ( Jaime Puebla / The National Newspaper )
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Sep 28, 2012 - IMAD REYAL (green) from Abu Dhabi Harlequins during a match against Jebel Ali Dragons at Zayed Sports City. ( Jaime Puebla / The National Newspaper )

DUBAI // Imad Reyal, the coveted UAE fullback, says he hopes to carry on playing for Abu Dhabi Harlequins this season, so long as they can help transport him from his home in Dubai.

The Sri Lankan back was one of the outstanding performers on the domestic scene last season after he signed for Quins from Dubai Exiles last summer.

However, his future allegiance was thrown into doubt when Chris Davies, the former director of rugby at Quins, stepped down at the end of the last Premiership season to take a new role in Hong Kong.

As a fellow Dubai resident, Davies provided lifts to training sessions and matches in the capital.

Since Davies departed for the Far East, Reyal has been said to be mulling over moves either to his former club, the Exiles, or last season's treble-winning Jebel Ali Dragons.

"I am planning to stay with Harlequins," said Reyal, whose brothers Shaheer, in rugby sevens, and Adil, in cricket, have also represented the UAE at international level.

"If they are able to provide me transport, I would be keen to play.

"With Chris not there anymore, hopefully something can be sorted out, or I might have to stay in Dubai."

Reyal says he was surprised to get the call to join the otherwise exclusively Emirati tour squad for the first leg of the Asian Sevens Series this weekend.

However, the country's leading player in the short format says he is pleased to lend his services to the new-look team in Malaysia.

"I'm always happy to help out anyone who asks," the IT consultant said. "It is going to be difficult - it was tough enough with the expat players in there - but it is all about giving exposure to new Emirati players."

 

pradley@thenational.ae

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