When Rugby Cranes assistant coach Robert Sseguya named the team to face Kenya in the first leg of the Elgon Cup, there were notable absentees from the final team.
Of the 17 players not named in Saturday’s match day squad, there are ten senior players who have been a strong part of the team in the recent times.
Former Rugby Cranes captain and African champion Mathias Ochwo, who missed the 2016 campaign, is the biggest name on the wrong side of the team sheet.
Ochwo is joined by Ronald Musajjagulanyago, 2015 half back pairing of Kevin Makmot and Chris Lubanga, Ramathan Govule, James Injongat, Arthur Mpande, Gerald Ssewankambo, John Wandicho and Eric Kasiita as some of the players who have played a big part in the team’s recent history.
In these senior players’ absence, the likes of Adinan Mutebi, Aaron Ofoyrwoth and Robert Aziku will have the chance to make their senior debuts for the country.
Of the 23 players named in the final team Tuesday morning, nine just broke into the team having missed the 2016 campaign.
And, of those nine, six are looking to pull on the Cranes jersey for the first time.
Veterans Alex Mubiru and Scot Oluoch have both made a return to the team alongside winger Justin Kimono.
Sseguya, however, made it clear that no player has been dropped from the team and everyone still has a chance to feature in the Africa Cup.
Uganda will take on Kenya on Saturday and the opponents are expected in the country on Thursday.
Kenya pummeled Uganda 48-10 in the last encounter played at Legends Rugby Grounds.
The return leg in Kenya ushered in fly half Ivan Magomu who scored on his debut but the Cranes fell 45-24 to lose the Elgon Cup to their neighbours.
Asuman Mugerwa, Alex Mubiru, Brian Odongo, Charles Uhuru, Robert Aziku, Brian Asaba, Scot Oluoch, Marvin Odongo, Ivan Kirabo, Ivan Magomu, James Odong, Pius Ogena, Micheal Okorach, Lawrence Sebuliba, Philip Wokorach, Syrus Watum, Collin Kimbowa, Adnan Mutebi, Byron Oketayot, Musa Muwonge, Aaron Ofoyrwoth, Justin Kimono and Eric Mula