Thursday 30th November 2006
London Irish winger Dominic Shabbo is currently in Dubai with England ahead of tomorrow's Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens. He sent the following postcard back to London Irish to show what he has been up to while on England duty.
So far everything has been really good and very enjoyable. Now I am just focusing on tomorrow when the tournament begins. I really want the first game out of the way. I don't get that nervous until just a few hours before the match. In sevens we play three matches in one day so you have to be prepared to take on three different teams.
This is my first time to Dubai and its an interesting city. Everyone is saying how quickly the city is changing as there is construction everywhere. We are staying quite a way from the main city centre so haven't seen too much of the place, but I am looking forward to a bit more exploring once the tournament is over on Sunday.
There was a player's function last night in the desert and all the teams were driven there by four wheel drives up and around the sand dunes. It was a new experience and pretty good fun.
All 16 teams are staying at a sports academy, and I recognise a few players from the other teams, especially France, but everyone tends to keep themselves to themselves until after the tournament is over.
I am trying to keep up to date with what is happening back at London Irish and am about to go on the website to check out the latest news and who is playing at the weekend. I had a bit of teasing from the players before I left saying that I should enjoy my holidays but believe me, if they knew how hard it is playing international sevens they wouldn't be calling it a holiday. The weather hasn't actually been that nice either and it's raining now, but I am not complaining about that as it may just help us on match day.
I enjoy playing sevens as you get so much more space and more time with the ball. The crowds are really good fun in sevens, and I have been told that the crowd out here in Dubai is incredible with over 30,000 people all cheering for England.
We went to visit the stadium this afternoon and its pretty cool. Its all built just for the sevens tournament in the middle of the desert and even the crowd for today's invitational tournament were pretty strong and noisy. My parents have flown out to watch and I can't wait to get out there and play tomorrow."
Keep up to date with Dom and the rest of the England team's progress in Dubai at rfu.com/sevens
Coverage of the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens will be broadcast both live and in highlight form this weekend on the BBC.