We have come to the final week and day of what has been a rather uneventful year. Everything came to a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic that swept across the globe. For Ugandan rugby, we have had close to 9 months of no rugby, and we are still counting. However, that doesn’t mean the year was without any activity.

Here, I revisit some of the key events that occurred within Ugandan rugby this year from January until December.

January

  • Rugby returns from a month-long Christmas break. Mongers are awarded a walkover after Impis’ requests for postponement of the fixture fall on deaf ears.
  • Rams beat Black Pirates at home for the first time ever.
  • When two elephants (URU and Impis) fought, the grass (Rams) suffered. The Mulago doctors are kicked out from Makerere Rugby Grounds and seek refuge at Kyadondo.
Impis v Rams

February

  • Uganda Men’s Sevens showcase at the inaugural HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series.
  • Women’s championships in central, northern and eastern regions kick off.

March

  • Samiya Ayikoru joins Kenya Mwamba Ladies RFC.
  • The inaugural Mileke Aredo Memorial Shield match between Kobs and Warriors is played. Kobs lift the title.
  • The coronavirus pandemic reaches Uganda. Sports is shut down until further notice. URU suspends all rugby in the country.
Kings Park Stadium, months into the lockdown.

May

  • URU and Nile Special Stout extend food relief to players and clubs.
  • Philip Wokorach signs for A.S.B.C Rugby, a French Federal One division club.

June

  • Rugby Africa cancels 2020 international season.
  • HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series cancelled.

September

  • URU hands over PPEs and sanitisation facilities to clubs.
  • COVId-19 suspension on sport lifted by the government. However, SOPS set for resumption not affordable for rugby. Thus, the sport remains under lockdown.

October

  • URU cancels 2020 season, names respective leagues champions but declares no relegation/promotion. Sets a possible return for rugby in January 2021.
Heathens players celebrate with the league trophy and winners medals | Credit: Uganda Rugby Union

November

  • Heathens receive winners’ medals and trophy for 2019/20 season.
  • Pius Ogena and Samiya Ayikoru receive their awards for USPA Male and Female Players of the Year respectively at the USPA Gala.

December

  • World Rugby announces that Olympics Repechage will be held in June in Monaco.

Ernest Akorebirungi is an amateur rugby player and a keen follower of local Ugandan rugby.

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