Dubai-based TOA rugby club will take on top Welsh team, Neath-Swansea Ospreys on Thursday, April 28, to raise awareness of recent natural disasters, according to the Ruckin Rugby Website.
The charity game is to raise money for victims of the Japan tsunami and New Zealand earthquake. Spectators will have free entry and there will be prize giveaways and raffles to support the cause.
Ospreys, the Magners League champions, are one of the five original clubs of the Welsh Regional Rugby Era.
The game will feature British & Irish Lions stars including Ireland winger, Tommy Bowe. Rugby fans can also look forward to watching Wales captain Alun Wynn-Jones, Ryan Jones and Shane Williams, amongst others.
TOA will have international guests including Jerry Collins and Marty Holah, former All Blacks from New Zealand. Japan winger Koji Tomioka and Jonny Greenwood from Sharjah Wanderers will also be playing.
Scott Johnson, director of coaching at Ospreys, said it was great opportunity to play in the region and support a cause.
“We have a lot of Kiwi boys either playing or on the staff who were touched by the disasters and a few of us spend a lot of time in Japan,” Johnson told The National.
The Japanese coastline was struck by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake on April 7, which triggered a tsunami with 37.9 meter waves. More than 14,000 people were killed but equally as many remain unaccounted for.
The 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand hit on February 22. It tore down buildings and killed about 180 people.
Kick-off for the TOA XV vs. Neath-Swansea Ospreys game will be at 7.30 p.m. on Thursday April 28. But the event will start at 5 p.m. with mini, youth and touch rugby on The Sevens Grounds on the outskirts of Dubai.
(Eman El-Shenawi of Al Arabiya can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org)