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Senior Rugby

Senior competitive rugby union in the UAE has been on the rise over the past 5 years with competitions split across three categories:

  • - Senior Men
  • - Senior Women
  • - Vets

Senior Men's Rugby

The majority of the rugby clubs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, including Abu Dhabi Harlequins, have at least a 1st XV and 2nd XV team playing competitive rugby in the UAE. Whenever numbers allow we also field a 3rd XV team. There are various leagues and divisions that we take part in, as follows:


West Asia Premiership

The West Asia Premiership is the top tier league of Gulf rugby with 7 regional Gulf rugby clubs, including Abu Dhabi Harlequins, participating in the league format competition which runs from October to mid March each season. Abu Dhabi Harlequins is represented by the 1st XV in this league. The Gulf league format is played out with all teams playing each other home and away, culminating at the end of the season with a ‘West Asia Premiership Final’ held between the top two teams placed 1 and 2 in the league table. The winner of the final is then crowned West Asia Premiership Champions for that season.


UAE Premiership

Abu Dhabi Harlequins is proud to be the 2022 champions of the UAE Premiership. The UAE Premiership is the top tier league of UAE rugby with 5 local clubs, including Abu Dhabi Harlequins, participating in the league competition, which runs from October to April every season. Abu Dhabi Harlequins is represented by the 1st XV in this league. The league format is played out with all teams playing each other twice (1 x home and 1 x away), culminating at the end of the season with the top 4 teams playing a semi-final knockout fixture to determine the teams to face each other in the grand final Premiership decider. The winners then get to lift the UAE Premiership Champion’s trophy.


Division 1

Previously known as the UAE Conference, the UAE Division 1 league is the second tier of UAE domestic rugby, with local UAE clubs, including Abu Dhabi Harlequins, participating in the league format competition which runs from October to April each season. Abu Dhabi Harlequins is represented by the 2nd XV in this division. Teams compete for the title of UAE Division 1 Championship. The rugby season culminates, with the top 4 sides playing a semi-final knockout stage, with final deciding who will be crowned UAE Division 1 Champions.


Division 2

The UAE Expat Rugby Community is the social league of UAE rugby with local UAE clubs, including Abu Dhabi Harlequins, participating in the league format competition which runs from September to March each season. Abu Dhabi Harlequins is normally represented by the 3rd XV in this division. The league format is played out with all teams playing each other once, culminating at the end of the season with a top 2 final. The winner of the Community final game is then crowned UAE Community Champions for that season.


Men's Standards
Standards of men's rugby vary greatly from social/fun to semi/professional standard, including ex players and veterans (over 35yrs) who are just looking for the odd run out onto the pitch.

Senior Women's Rugby

Women's Rugby in the UAE continues to grow each year with competitions split into two periods:

  • - The Women's 7s Series
  • - The Women's 15s Series

Women's 7s Series

The Women's Rugby Sevens Series is the top tier league of ladies Gulf rugby with 7 regional Gulf rugby clubs participating in the league format competition. The Women’s Sevens Series competition is a rugby 7s round robin style competition ran from September until March with a league, ‘finals’ and Dubai 7s Women’s Gulf rugby competition which has silverware up for grabs each year. Usually each club hosts a ’round robin’ tournament with the finals taking place in Dubai. The tournament is seeded into A and B leagues which sees some teams entering 2-3 teams each, making sure that all levels of ability can enjoy a good run out.


Women's 15s Series

Usually there is a 15s competition run after the 7s league finishes up in March. Teams amalgamate to make up a 15s side and play a round robin competition. Sometimes it depends on interest and numbers with possibility of a 10s tournament instead.


Women's Standards
The standard in the gulf ladies rugby has improved in the last few years with current players having Premiership and International experience and other players returning to play International and Premiership rugby. Most of the clubs compete in social summer 7’s and beach rugby tournaments around Europe, with some local rugby clubs being successful in winning those tournaments. There are talks that UAE rugby will be incorporating an U19’s Girls competition with the Women’s tournaments to hopefully increase the interest in local women’s rugby.
 

© Abu Dhabi Harlequins 2019

Zayed Sports City

Abu Dhabi




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