Warriors' Henry Musisi passes the ball from scrummage

The 2022 Nile Special Rugby Premier League kicks off this Saturday, January 8 with all matches set to be played within Kampala City.

Kawowo Sports will broadcast the first double-header of the season at Legends Rugby Club, but here is your full matchday one preview.

Kobs vs Impis during 2019/20 season

Kobs vs Impis (1pm) at Legends Rugby Club

  • Team News: Both Kobs and Impis have had the quietest transfer window for confirmed signings, but Kobs’ rumoured move for Black Pirates’ Kelvin Balagadde has been the loudest.
    It is a fan’s favourite face-off at the flyhalf position with Joseph Aredo steering the hosts against Henry Nsekuye.
  • Previous Meeting: On the penultimate matchday during the 2021 season, Kobs were 9 points short of scoring an unanswered century against Impis at The Graveyard.
  • Match Official Allocation: Umar Balikanda will be center referee assisted by Emmanuel Olupot and Elijah Massa. The Match Commissar will be Dorothy Nekesa.

Rams vs Mongers (1pm) at Makerere Rugby Grounds

  • Team News: Rams has done the most business in this transfer window, signing up to 6 players including Kenneth Okong from Heathens. Mongers on the other hand are reported to have added only Andrew Kene to their roster.
    Joseph Kagimu will captain the visitors for this tie while coach Richard Lumu is expected to lace his boots up and play alongside his charges.
  • Previous Meetings: The encounter between Rams and Mongers was one of the lowest scoring matches last season. A tight 08-03 contest at The Graveyard in which the only try of the game was scored in the second half.
  • Match Official Allocation: Center referee will be Gonzaga Mayanja, with Timothy Tumwesigye and James Byaruhanga as his assistants. Julius Nkuraija will be the Match Commissar.
Solomon Okia Credit: Pirates Rugby/TW

Black Pirates vs Jinja Hippos (1pm) at King’s Park Stadium

  • Team News: Black Pirates and Jinja Hippos have exchanged three players – Isaac Rujumba, Michael Amolo from the former and Peter Bisaso from the latter. The trio are expected to make their debuts with Hippos’ duo starting and Bisaso coming off the bench.
  • Previous Meeting: Last season’s encounter between the two teams was at the same venue. Black Pirates were playing for a chance to win the league in the final matchday while Jinja Hippos was looking to cement fourth place as their own.
    The hosts held off a strong challenge from the visitors in the opening quarter to win 33-11 with a sublime display from their backs.
  • Match Official Allocation: Denis Anguyo is center referee. He will be assisted by Bashir Bakel and Emmanuel Sama with Garry Mabonga as the Match Commissar.

Heathens vs Buffaloes (3pm) at Kyadondo Rugby Club

  • Team News: On paper, Heathens are comfortably the strongest team in the league at the moment due to the business they have done in the transfer window by adding Akera Komakech, Joachim Chisano, Romano Ucu and Cyrus Wathum to their forward pack. Buffaloes are their usual lukewarm self going into the season and their status as a midtable team is still guaranteed.
  • Previous Meetings: Since 2017/18 when Buffaloes beat Heathens home and away, the Kyadondo Derby has been won by Heathens. Last season, Heathens did not concede a try as they beat Buffaloes by 39-03.
  • Match Official Allocation: Ronald Wutimber will be center referee assisted by Rachel Kakaire and Tonny Torach. Match Commissar will be URU Secretary Robert Bwali.

Warriors vs Rhinos (3pm) at Legends Rugby Club

  • Team News: In the transfer window, Warriors and Rhinos have traded players between them; long term utility back Owen Kinyera from the purple side and Abby Gumisiriza from the yellow side.
    Despite losing his captain to Heathens and a handful of other players, Warriors coach Gabriel Aredo said to Kawowo Sports that he is confident his team is strong enough to compete in the league.
  • Previous Meetings: This one of the three Legends derbies in the league currently, and one known to go either way. During the 2021 season, it went Rhinos’ way by 23-13 although both teams scored two tries apiece.
  • Match Official Allocation: Center referee will be Raymond Kisekka. His assistants will be Ivan Arinaitwe and Brian Batakwire with Aziz Mpora as the Match Commissar.

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

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