Team-by-team guide, star players and predictions for West Asia Premiership 2017/18

Sport360 staff 13:33 21/09/2017
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With the local rugby season upon us we have the lowdown on each team aiming to compete for the West Asia Premiership title.

From the key players to our predictions for the year, we have you covered.

Who do you think will win?

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BAHRAIN

Coach: Louie Tonkin

Home ground: Bahrain RFC

Captain: Adam Wallace

Key player: Elliot Behan

Last season: West Asia Premiership 3rd, West Asia Championship 2nd

Sport360° prediction: Made great progress under Tonkin in his debut campaign and, with new faces arriving and a lot of injured stars returning to the ranks, expect them to be a major contender for trophies

UAE Premiership: N/A

West Asia Premiership: 2nd

Dubai Sevens: Quarter-finals

JEBEL ALI DRAGONS

Coach: Henry Paul

Home ground: JACOE

Captain: Ross Samson

Key player: Matt Henry

Last season: West Asia Premiership 4th, UAE Premiership 2nd

Sport3600 prediction: Came on leaps and bounds last season under Paul and are set to make more strides, with exciting signings said to have arrived. Fell short of silverware last season but 2017/18 could be different.

UAE Premiership: 2nd

West Asia Premiership: 3rd

Dubai Sevens: Final

DUBAI EAGLES

Coach: Pat Benson

Home ground: Dubai Sports City

Captain: Conor Coakley

Key player: Sean Carey

Last season: N/A

Sport3600 prediction: The new boys are an unknown quantity but it will surely be a season of struggle for them, with their opponents well ahead. Being competitive and earning a handful of wins would be seen as a good campaign for the debutants.

UAE Premiership: 6th

West Asia Premiership: 7th

Dubai Sevens: Pool stages

DUBAI EXILES

Coach: Jacques Benade

Home ground: The Sevens

Captain: N/A

Key player: Durandt Gerber

Last season: West Asia Premiership 5th, UAE Premiership 4th

Sport3600 prediction: Have recruited well over the summer and will be hard-pressed to be as bad as they were last season. Head coach Benade will be upset if they don’t win at least one trophy from the four on offer.

UAE Premiership: 1st

West Asia Premiership: 4th

Dubai Sevens: Semi-finals

ABU DHABI HARLEQUINS

Coach: Mike McFarlane

Home ground: Zayed Sports City

Captain: Ben Bolger

Key player: Luke Stevenson

Last season: West Asia Premiership 1st, UAE Premiership 1st, Dubai Sevens winners

Sport3600 prediction: Where do they go after they won everything last year? Surely they can’t be as untouchable as last season. Have lost some key players but undoubtedly remain the team to beat.

UAE Premiership: 3rd

West Asia Premiership: 1st

Dubai Sevens: Winners

DUBAI HURRICANES

Coach: Mike Wernham

Home ground: The Sevens

Captain: Dave Knight

Key player: Josh Elliot

Last season: West Asia Premiership 6th, UAE Premiership 5th

Sport3600 prediction: A perennial struggler for the last two seasons but finally settled under Wernham, who has added structure and confidence. Have their work cut out but are an outside bet for a trophy

UAE Premiership: 4th

West Asia Premiership: 5th

Dubai Sevens: Semi-finals

ABU DHABI SARACENS

Coach: N/A

Home ground: N/A

Captain : Johnny Taylor

Key player: Stephen Hamilton

Last season: West Asia Premiership 7th, UAE Premiership 6th

Sport3600 prediction: It’s been a tumultuous summer for Sarries, but vibes coming from within the club are refreshingly positive. They won’t trouble the top teams but will be happy to be competitive

UAE Premiership: 5th

West Asia Premiership: 6th

Dubai Sevens: Quarter-finals

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