Rugby Cranes Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

2017 Uganda Rugby Cranes Fixtures:

Elgon Cup:

  • Uganda Vs Kenya – 10th June
  • Kenya Vs Uganda – 24th June

CAR (Rugby)

  • Kenya Vs Uganda – 24th June
  • Senegal Vs Uganda – 1st July
  • Uganda Vs Tunisia – 15th July
  • Uganda Vs Namibia – 22nd July
  • Uganda Vs Zimbabwe – 5th August
[/media-credit] Some of the Uganda Rugby Cranes players after the kits handover at Legends Rugby Club Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

A vigorous international fixture awaits the Uganda Rugby Cranes in the upcoming months.

First forward, the old school rivalry between Uganda and neighbors Kenya via the famous Elgon Cup arrives first on 10th June 2017.

The first leg will be hosted in Kampala with the return leg (also the start of the CAR fixtures) coming after a fortnight.

Given that background, the Uganda Rugby Union has summoned a big pool of 59 players to prepare for the engagements.

The biggest surprise of all is the inclusion of Tony Lugya and Scot Oluoch following a 4 and 1 year respective sabbatical leave from the national team duty.

Explaining the selection of the players, Ramsey Olinga, the union technical expert noted that the big pool and early preparations are all intended to have the Cream De la cream of the national team.

Olinga disclosed to Kawowo Sports the nitty gritty of the preparation process and the players’ selection exercise;

We started light training in November 2016 because we believe early training is a key to success.

As for the big number of selected players, we want to have a wide pool of players that also has these returning veteran players who bring a lot of experience on the team.

For the last 3 months, the team has been training once a week.

[/media-credit] Uganda Rugby Cranes players alongside Nile Special representatives during the launch Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Now that the league is about to officially close, the training will be upped to four times a week until the first international fixture against Kenya on 10th June (Elgon Cup).

Management will organize a couple of trial games locally as and when they feel the team needs to do so.

The players on the national 7’s team will rejoin the 15’s team when they return from the Hong Kong games in April.

Kenya based Phillip Wokoroach will join the team at a later date.

After the two games against Kenya, Uganda will lock horns against Senegal, Tunisia and Zimbabwe.

Brian Odong, the team skipper outlines the target for the team.

I am so happy that training has been moving on that early.

Our target this year is to win as many games as possible so that we finish first or at worst second.

Senior player Michael Wokoroach has the belief that they will perform as expected given the early preparations.

We are working on the body toning process.

Let us prepare we all remain fit and injury free, we shall deliver in the up-coming games.

Personally, I am also training with the Rugby 7’s team to further polish my fitness levels.

[/media-credit] Uganda Rugby Cranes kits official hand over Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Meanwhile, Nile Special unveiled two sets of jerseys for the team at Legends Rugby Club on Thursday.

The company’s sponsorship manager, Francis Nyende officially handed over the kit and he recommitted himself to further supporting rugby and the national team in particular at all times.

As a truly Uganda brand, Nile Special is inclined to support everything that is made in Uganda, anything that reflects who we are.

And, the Rugby Cranes points to our inherent passion as a people. So, we urge all Ugandans to support the team and show that they are truly made of passion, made of Uganda.

[/media-credit] Officials during the official launch of the Uganda Rugby Cranes squad naming and kits unveiling ceremony Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Until the head coach John Duncan returns from holiday, the team will maintain the training sessions under assistant coach Robert Sseguya.

The pool of players:

John Wandicho, Elijah Segawa, Joseph Tamale, Ronald Mussajjagulanyago Jerome Buyonga, Ian Munyani, Keith Seruyange, Derrick Tukwasibe, Syrus Watum, Brian Odong, Davis Kiwalabye, Collins Kimbowa, Brian Asaba, Joseph Aredo, Ramathan Govule, Emmanuel Ecodu, Adrian Mutebi, Raymond Kasule, Alfred Karekaho, James Ijongat, Tony Lugya, Bryon Oketayot, Kevin Makmot, Arthur Mpande, Robert Aziku, Scot Oluoch, Daudi Semwami, Martial Tchumkam, James Okello, Charles Uhuru, Pius Ogena, Gerald Sewankambo, James Odongo, Eric Kasita, Saul Kivumbi, Kevin Keremundu, Robert Masendi, Paul Epillo, Simon Olet, Fred Odur, Asuman Mugerwa, Chris Lubanga, Lawrence Ssebuliba, Michale Wokorach, Aziz Khan, Arthur Mukama, Alex Mubiru, Santos Senteza, Cox Muhigwa, Brian Kikawa, Marvin Odongo, Ivan Magomu, Conrad Wanyama, Didi Ruhweza, Musa Muwonge, Nathan Bwambale, Haruna Muhamed,Edgar Pajob and Emojong Eliphaz

Technical Team:

Coaches: John Duncan (Head coach) and Robert Sseguya (Assistant coach)

Managers: Robert Omuna and Emmanuel Baine

Doctor: Steven Buyungo

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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