Qatar ready to face Lebanon, Iran challenge: Rugby team captain

Qatar ready to face Lebanon, Iran challenge: Rugby team captain
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Published April 14th, 2016 - 13:36 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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(From left) IEC general manager Joe Karrat, Qatar national rugby 15s team captain Tom Featherstone, team manager Hamad Anbar Abdulla, Copthorne Hotel general manager Kabalan Frangieh and QRF senior coordinator Samuel Rico at a press conference ahead of the tri-nation Asia Rugby Championship Division III (source: Gulf Times)
(From left) IEC general manager Joe Karrat, Qatar national rugby 15s team captain Tom Featherstone, team manager Hamad Anbar Abdulla, Copthorne Hotel general manager Kabalan Frangieh and QRF senior coordinator Samuel Rico at a press conference ahead of the tri-nation Asia Rugby Championship Division III (source: Gulf Times)
The Qatar national rugby team are ready to give a good account of themselves and are up to the challenges from any opposition irrespective of their experiences or abilities, Tom Featherstone, the national team captain has said.

The Qatar Rugby Federation (QRF) will host the tri nation Asia Rugby Championship Division III between Qatar, Iran and Lebanon at the Aspire warm up and purpose built rugby track from April 16 to 22.

Addressing a press conference in Doha on Wednesday, Featherstone, who has eight caps with the Qatar national XV's team said,"We are ready to beat both teams. We are playing to win. We are very strong in the forwards with plenty of experience there and that's where we will be playing them."

"The Iranians are very physical and like playing it close to the middle while the Lebanese are more flamboyant with their play and will throw the ball out wide to their backs. Whatever strategy both teams play we are ready for the counteract."

The player, who was also part of the Qatar Rugby Sevens National side that competed in Al Ain in March, added that all the players are highly motivated for the competition and are committed to winning the tournament.

Featherstone, who has been a resident of Qatar since he was seven years old, said,"Rugby is in my blood I don't know of any other sport to play. I give full credit to the QRF for their recent Sevens championship and their role they are playing in promoting Rugby in Qatar. This can only improve and as a result the sport will attract good quality players and coaches."

The first match of the competition will see Qatar battling with Iran on April 16. The match is scheduled to start at 6pm.

Three days later, on Tuesday April 19, Iran will be involved in the second match this time against Lebanon. The match will start a little later at 7pm.

On April 22, Qatar will slug it out with Lebanon for the tournament's final match by 6pm.

The last nine weeks Qatar Sevens Rugby has dominated the rugby headlines but now rugby XV's much to the delight of many has the front page. This tournament is open to extra participants (15players) many of whom Sevens excludes due to their bulky and heavy frames.

This will be the first time the Asia Rugby Championship will be played in Doha since it changed its name from the HSBC Asian 5 Nations in 2015.

Qatar made an impact in its debut at the A5N in 2011 Division IV beating Lebanon and Jordan for the championship in Dubai.

In the 2013 A5N held in Kuala Lumpur, Qatar crushed China 76 0 and overcame a strong Guam 13 -7 to win the finals.

In 2014, the A5N was held in Qatar at the Al Arabi Stadium. Qatar beat Thailand and Iran to advance to the finals which they lost to Malaysia.

The up and coming Asia Rugby XV's tournament matches will be played across 80 minutes divided into 2 lots 40 minute halves with a 10 minute break. Teams will consist of 23 players and allowed 8 reserves.

The tri nation competition will be played in a single pool round robin format. That means teams will be awarded points at the completion of the match and no extra time will be played. Competition points will be awarded on the following basis: Win 4 points, Draw 2 points, 4 or more tries 1 point and a loss by 7 points or less 1 point.

QRF General Secretary Ali al Malki said,"We are delighted at the opportunity ofHOSTING the tournament with Asia Rugby. This tournament will be the biggest challenge for the federation to date. I call on all the sports community to join us and show the world that we are capable ofHOSTING and presenting world class events."

Malki praised all the sponsors and paid tribute to the Copthorne Hotel who will be hosting the international teams.

"The QRF wishes to thank its partners the QOC, the Aspire Foundation Zone and IEC for their ongoing support. I wish to also acknowledge Kabalan Frangieh, the general manager of the Copthorne Hotel, who has been a willing partner in the development of Rugby by playing host to the Lebanese and Iranian national rugby teams and holding all events for the Asia Championship".

Frangieh said,"We are very happy the QRF chose the Copthorne Hotel as their partner. The QRF is working hard to develop rugby in Qatar and we are excited to be part of that visionary process. The Copthorne Hotel is a strong supporter of community sports and we will do our best to deliver the best service which can only reflect on Qatar as a whole."

 

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