Uganda name youthful squad for Safaricom Sevens

Nov 02, 2011

Uganda Rugby Cranes sevens head coach John Musoke has named a youthful side for this weekend’s Safaricom Safari sevens at the Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi.

With the entire 12-man squad under the age of 24 years, Musoke insists that he is building a team for the future with his focus firmly on the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“I prefer working with young players because they like expressing themselves and are not afraid of trying something new unlike the old ones who might be afraid of changing their style of play,” said Musoke.

Musoke has maintained only four names from last years team;side-scrum half Benon Kiiza, full back Michael Wokorach, wingers Joel Anguyo and Jude Keremundu have returned for national duty as well as agility guru Brian Kikawa who is also making a comeback to the team

“These boys played in last year’s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India so their presence on this team brings in experience and will blend well with the young players that have come on board,” Musoke added.

Rookies like Jasper Ochen, Gerald Ssewankambo, James Kimono, Justin Kimono and Francis Odonga will make their international debuts for the sevens aside team. Musoke left out traditional names like Robert Seguya, Mathias Ochwo, Bishop Jonathan Onen, Evans King'asia and Scot Olouch.

Hosts Kenya, Uganda and Bristol University from the United Kingdom are the only sides to have played in this annual event since its inception in 1996. The event has since become Africa’s number one seven-aside tournament on the African continent.

the 15s national side as was the case with the players who participated in this tournament last year,” said a confident Musoke.

Fresh from a successful campaign at the just concluded Confederation of African Rugby (CAR) sevens, the second placed Lady Rugby Cranes have promised to dominate this tournament when it starts on Friday with the women’s events.

Lady Cranes’ head coach Anthony Kinene told sportsnewsarena.com , “It was a fruitful campaign in Botswana and we shall build on that when we play on Friday.”

Uganda lost to South Africa 40-5 in the final after seeing off Zimbabwe 7-0 in the semi-finals.

South Africa, Uganda, Kenya and Zimbabwe qualified to play against the top four from North and West Africa from which the top four will represent the continent at the 2013 IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup. The next qualifying tournament will be played in Morocco at a later date.

Meanwhile, the newly crowned East Africa secondary schools champions-Hana Mixed school will represent Uganda in the schools category as second placed St Mary’s College, Kisubi pulled out citing academic commitments that most of the players are candidates sitting their final examinations.

Team list:

Joel Anguyo Obeddo (captain), Jude Keremundu (vice captain), Benon Kiiza, Michael Wokorach, Brian Kikawa, Jasper Ochen, Gerald Ssewankambo, James Mugwanya, James Kimono, Francis Odonga, Andrew Olweny, Justin Kimono.

 

Usher Komugisha,Kampala

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