Welsh international rugby star Mike Phillips has teamed up with Just Play to launch his first rugby academy in the UAE.
Phillips, Wales’ most capped scrum-half with 99 appearances for the Welsh national side and the British and Irish Lions, will put young rugby stars aged from 3 to 11 years old through their paces with a host of fun activities at the new Dubai-based Mike Phillips Just Play Rugby Academy.
The Academy will hold regular training sessions at the English College Dubai in Jumeriah 3 and the Nord Anglia International School Dubai in Hessa Street.
Each session will be carefully designed to help boost the players’ skills and improve their overall fitness while also making sure they have fun and enjoy playing the sport.
The academy gives the rugby stars of tomorrow a unique opportunity to train alongside one of the game’s most experienced players and to learn first-hand the skills that helped propel Phillips to the top of the sport.
Rugby is hugely popular in the UAE, with teams of boys and girls of all ages regularly taking part in games and inter-school tournaments across the Emirates.
“I’m delighted to be launching a brand-new Academy here in the UAE with Just Play, called the Mike Phillips Rugby Academy in Dubai,” said Phillips. “There is a huge amount of support for rugby here in the UAE, from the grassroots level all the way to the international game.
“I’m really looking forward to working with some exciting young players and passing on the skills and knowledge that has served me so well over the years to a new generation. The great thing about rugby is that it’s for everyone. It can be played by boys and girls.”
“In recent years we have seen more females getting involved in the game, not just within the UAE but globally, with a thriving women’s professional game and a growing female development programme. This is great for the future of the sport and something we are very keen to encourage at the Mike Phillips Just Play Rugby Academy. I’m thrilled to have the chance to work with youngsters of all ages, abilities and nationalities here in Dubai.”
Phillips made his name on the international rugby scene thanks to his outstanding performances for the Welsh team and the British and Irish Lions. His club career includes spells at professional clubs such as Bayonne, Cardiff Blues, Ospreys, Racing Metro, Sale Sharks, and most recently the Scarlets.
A popular figure in the sport, Phillips came out of retirement to play two games for the Scarlets in their Pro14 fixtures in South Africa in November and December this year.
Leading youngsters in the fun-packed training sessions alongside Phillips will be Just Play’s much-loved rugby coach, Emlyn Jones. Welshman Jones has been coaching young rugby players in Dubai for three years.
Jones has more than 25 years of experience as a rugby coach, including spells playing for Pontypool and Abergavenny academies in the UK and coaching in many clubs and schools across the South West of England. His friendly and fun teaching methods have made him a favourite with students.
As well as learning from expert coaches, youngsters who attend academy sessions at the English College Dubai and the Nord Anglia International School Dubai will be able use some of the best training facilities in the UAE.
Players looking to join in the training sessions can now sign up for the new term which will take place from Monday January 15th to Friday April 27th 2018. Participation in the spring term costs AED 1,450 and includes a full rugby kit.
For more information about sessions at Just Play’s Mike Phillips Rugby Academy, call 04 348 3869.