Credit: Eric Ssewankambo

For the first two circuits – Mileke Sevens and Gulu Sevens – of the 2021 Guinness Sevens Series, participating teams were only permitted to field twelve players for their matches.

This was in accordance with Chapter 1.7 of the Uganda Rugby Union 2021 National Sevens Series Tournament Manual which regulates the declaration of squads. It states that:

“Team managers will be required to send the names of the 12 players and the 3 officials every Friday before midday. And you will be required to pick from the 40-man lists of players you registered at the beginning of the season.”

But after a tough weekend in the Northern city of Gulu where they struggled with maintaining full squad numbers throughout the day, teams requested URU to permit them to add an extra man to their squads.

This request has been granted for the remainder of the 2021 Guinness Sevens Series.

Tournament Director Robert Bwali, speaking to Kawowo Sports, revealed that the clubs now have the green light to add a 13th-man to their team lists for the remaining four circuits beginning this weekend in Soroti.

It is important to note, however, that the 13th-man can only be activated for the circuit in the event that a player among the twelve is unable to take further part in any competitive action during that circuit.

The 2021 Guinness Sevens Series heads Eastwards to Soroti City for the fourth circuit with current series leaders Kobs drawn in Pool A alongside Jinja Hippos, Mongers, and Sailors. The circuit will be played at the Soroti Stadium on Saturday, 16 October 2021.

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

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