Gulf Rugby continues to grow this weekend as the Gulf Conference makes it return to the schedules.
Saudi Rugby makes its 2016 entry and the first time the country has had a team in a league competition in the region.
A select team from Saudi Clubs will travel to Bahrain to play Kuwait Scorpions, who have been aching to re-establish themselves as one of the Gulf’s regular teams.
Kuwait was often a tricky encounter in the old format Gulf Competition, but the growth of neighbouring states and the strength of competition of the new cross border format has seen them playing in logisitically expensive, limited exposure leagues, with Doha and Muscat.
Now coach Shemaiah Evans and the Kuwait Scorpion are looking to bounce back and restablish themselves in the Gulf pecking order.
The Scorpions are blessed with some Pacific Island talent, similar to Al Ain Amblers from a couple of years ago and can be a formidable outfit at home and at ad hoc competitions such as The Dubai Sevens.
‘Shem’, believes with a more stable competition format and with the addition of Saudi into the league, Kuwait have an opportunity to have regular matches and a target.
This year, a realistic ambition of the club is to win the league and earn a right to challenge the bottom side Gulf Championship for a place in the top tier format.
The Scorpions are also not just relying on expat talent.
There are 8 Kuwaiti locals in the training squad with 4 new players this year, where Shem hopes the sport will gain traction and assist in the clubs growing ambition.
While Saudi Select may be the newcomers to the league, they will present an unknown challenge, and of course trips to Muscat and Doha will also mean some hard work is needed to get through the season.
But it is this regularity and opportunity that could finally give Kuwait something to aim for and Shem believes will fire his team to new heights this season.