Leeds Carnegie trio John Bentley, Sir Ian McGeechan and Adam Blades will over the next nine days be taking part in the Leeds Carnegie annual Middle East tour.
The British Lions duo, John and Sir Ian travelled to the first destination on the mini tour on Wednesday afternoon with community manager Blades joining them on Saturday. The tour will consist of John and Sir Ian, hosting and speaking at four dinners in total at four different venues, with rugby coaching being led by Adam and supported by John and Sir Ian at two different schools, one in Dubai and one in Muscat.
The three will also be passing on their knowledge at two of the biggest rugby clubs in the Middle East, the Hurricanes RFC who are based in Dubai, and also Muscat RFC . At the rugby clubs John, Sir Ian and Adam will be working with the clubs junior sides and also the senior sides making it a whole club event and continuing the work that Leeds Carnegie have put in on existing trips.
This will be the fourth year running that Adam and John have made the trip to the Middle East to help raise awareness of the Leeds Carnegie brand and support the rugby that is going on in the Middle East. Joining Adam and John in the past have been household names such as Neal Back, Henry Paul, Andy Gomersall, Colin Charvis and Paul Wallace but this year they will be joined by surely the biggest Lions legend of all, Sir Ian McGeechan, the Leeds Carnegie Executive Chairman.
Community manager Adam Blades commented, "The annual trips to the Middle East have enabled Leeds Carnegie to become a strong well know brand due to the amount of children and adults that we have coached during our time there but also the pedigree of speakers we have been able to attract for the Rugby Dinners out there.
"This year is the longest and most intense trip we have done, taking in four dinners and four coaching sessions and along with the amount of flights between venues the trip is a full on event. Myself and John are very proud of the work we have done there in the past which last year saw us extend our trip to travel to Ethiopia for a one day stay to coach the country's main rugby team 'The Nayalas'. This trip was organised to pass on our rugby experiences and expertise in a country where rugby resources are at a bare minimum. We are hoping that this year will be a continuation of the success we have had in the past and an enjoyable experience for all involved."