BAHRAIN Rugby Football Club (RFC)’s first XV has stepped up a gear in training this week as they prepare to take on Dubai Sharks in a pre-season friendly tomorrow.
After Monday’s meeting of the senior leadership group and focused sessions with backs and forwards units, the squad increased the intensity levels last night under the watchful eye of a qualified referee, who took them through the intricacies of the new ruck laws.
Bahrain’s new head coach Louie Tonkin has certainly made a big impact on proceedings already and has made no secret of his intentions to bring silverware back to the club for the first time since the memorable league-winning campaign of 2009/10.
Despite struggling with a lack of depth in playing resources at times over recent years, Tonkin’s influence has seen the return of several former and bit-part players to full-time training to compliment the arrival of some welcome new additions, to the point that he has been able to name and work with an elite squad of 30 players.
From that wider training panel, a squad will be confirmed to take on the Sharks at Dubai Sports City on Friday evening, in what will be an historic first ever clash between the two clubs.
Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the Sharks were established out of the famous Arabian Potbellies in 2006 and have since adopted the Dubai Frogs, with a playing base of almost 500 representing the club, across first XV, second XV, third XV, women’s, junior, mini and social grades.
There will at least be some familiarity between the two sides, as former Bahrain winger-cum-flanker Caleb Anderson is expected to line out for the home side, after an impressive first season for the Sharks in last year’s UAE Conference.