Uganda's journey back to top tier

By the punter
Jun 10, 2021

Uganda who won the Africa Rugby Confederation Cup in 2007 are keen to get back to the top tier.

They were relegated to the second tier last year after losing 31-48 to Kenya who will be in Madagascar towards the end of this month for the Africa Cup which has Madagascar, Zimbabwe and Namibia.

Uganda’s journey to the top begins today (Tuesday) when they play against Cote d’Ivoire in Tunisia.

Peter Magona, a former Uganda Cranes backrow is coaching a new-look side which has five new players. He did not have the luxury of including all the players who were eligible for selection because Uganda is also preparing for the Commonwealth Games.

As a result, up to 17 players in the seven-a-side team were unavailable. But, the Uganda Rugby Union also directed that the national team players be excluded from the recently concluded Bamburi Rugby Super Series.

The players were also withdrawn for the newly introduced Protector Rugby Super Series. Therefore, Magona has had about three months tp prepare his squad for the tough battle ahead.

The team departed on Sunday for Tunisia where they last played in 2012 and lost 19-22 to Zimbabwe. The cancellation of this year’s annual Elgon Cup between Kenya and Uganda means that the team landed in Tunisia without playing any build up match.

Other teams vying for promotion when the competition kicks off at the Municipal Stadium in Nebul are Senegal and hosts Tunisia who have a sprinkle of players who ply their trade in France.

Fixtures

June 10: Uganda v Cote d’Ivoire, Tunisia v Senegal at Stade Municipal Nebul, Tunisia

June 14: Play-off and final.

Uganda Cranes

Forwards: Brian Odongo (captain), Asuman Mugerwa, Martial Tchumkam, Timothy Kabonero, Paul Sserunjogi, Syrus Watum, Romano Ogwal (assistant captain), John-William Wandicho, Eric Butime, Brian Asaba, Andrew Olweny, Mathias Ochwo, Marvin Odongo, Arthur Mukama.

Backs: Ivan Makmot, Davis Kyewalabye, Jasper Ochen, Joseph Oredo, Oscar Kalyango, Michael Wokorach, Justin Kimono (assistant captain), Jonathan Onen, Allan Seamus Otim, Lawrence Wakabi.

Officials: Peter Magona (coach), Herbert Wafula (team manager), Joseph Kalanzi (doctor).