Cabin crew will be tackling the competition at massive festival of sport
Meet the Emirates flying squad aiming for Dubai Rugby Sevens glory
This weekend's Dubai Rugby Sevens is ready for take-off - as a flying squad from Emirates get set to go for glory.
A team made out of cabin crew at the airline will be making their arrival at the hugely popular festival of sport - with the try-line their chosen destination.
The 14-strong side - hailing from 14 countries across the globe - will be swapping soaring the skies for scrums at the Emirates Airlines Dubai Rugby Sevens invitational women's tournament.
They will be confident of landing the title after being put through their paces during six months of intense training.
To get themselves ready for the big kick-off, the players met up with the USA Women's Eagles squad for a mini-training camp, featuring practice scrums, kicking and tackling technique.
The EK Firebirds team is comprised of players from rugby-loving nations such as the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, as well as Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Namibia, the Philippines and Nigeria , reflecting he multi-cultural workforce at Emirates.
The squad have found time in their jet-setting schedules to practice and train together at venues across Dubai, including the Sevens Stadium itself, in a bid to ensure they aren't consigned to the departure lounge too early.
The Firebirds have been turning up the heat on the rugby competition since 2012 and have taken part in several tournaments over the years.
But it will be the first time many of the team have had a chance to perfrom in front of the red-hot atmosphere of the annual sevens event.
Last year the club became a member of the UAE Rugby Federation and since then they have played at the Women’s Gulf Rugby Tournament.
During the tournament, the team’s first squad qualified to the finals at the Women’s Gulf Rugby Cup and the second team made it to the quarter finals.
The 2018 Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens gets underway on Thursday and is set to the biggest in history, with more than 900 rugby and netball matches taking place across three days.