After a highly successful season with the Men winning both the 7s and 15s titles, Exiles make another return to Dubai as the celebrated World Sevens circuit gets under way. They are taking a mixture of hardened veterans and some youngsters knocking on the door of the first team. This is the first stage in the planning for participating in the European Club 7s´ Championship to be held in Moscow and St Petersburg in the Spring.
The Exiles selection is: Theo Karlsson, James Darbyshire, Nick Ferso,,Matt Mitchell, Dustin Eaton, Daniel Nissela, Liam Pallin, Mak Jelec, Erik Sandberg, Albin Hulme, Antoine Coopersamy and.Ash Kitchen
Eight of the squad have played for Sweden at 7s or 15s. Of the remainder, Nick is a forward from Georgia, Ash a flyer from NZ, Liam our speedy young winger and Albin a promising line-out man. All 12 will be Sweden qualified for next season. Ian Gowland has been invited to play for a very prestigious Old Boys team while Sean Burke is captaining a select team whom he has represented a few times. Apart from regional tournaments there are four international levels for the Men; Exiles have perhaps erred on the side of caution by electing to play at the fourth level as the standard seems to be improving year by year. After the top level (HSBC) many of the academy or development teams of the top nations are to be found at level two while many of the European select teams (including the Waterboys) are to be found at level three There may well be a few weaker teams at our level but we suspect there will be a good number out of the 24 who will give us a good run for our money.
There will be a party of 30 players, supporters and hangers on making the trip; including coach Henry van Niekerk, chairman Allan Mabon, invited guest Robin Fransson and ace reporter Hunter Sr. The players have paid 3,000:- each. The remaining costs have been covered by sponsorship. The whole trip has been brilliantly managed and organized by Anders Svärd, that´s right the man the Union recently regarded as being incapable of any rugby activity whatsoever. For some reason Kari Tapper has also bobbed up and we expect to be royally welcomed by the unofficial Tongan ambassador to Dubai, Piu Hafoko, the Exiles and Sweden flying winger of yesteryear.