Warriors and Walukuba players set up a scrum

Uganda Rugby Premier League Promotional Playoffs – Saturday, May 21, 2022:

  • Semifinal One – 2p.m.: Kyambogo RFC vs Lira Bulls
  • Semifinal Two – 4p.m.: Walukuba Barbarians vs Mbarara Titans

Rugby fans in Uganda who were lamenting over the lack of entertainment for themselves during the off-season period can now walk along the streets with a spring in their step.

Because, this evening, Uganda Rugby confirmed the dates of the national playoff matches for promotion to the Nile Special Rugby Premier League. The tournament, to be held over two weekends from the semifinals and finals, will be played from this Saturday, May 21.

The semifinals, pitting the four regional candidates, will be hosted at Makerere University’s The Graveyard from 2 p.m. Each will involve a team whose path to this tournament had a boardroom backstory to it, and another who have played in the top tier premier league before.

In the first semifinal, Kyambogo Rugby, a rugby team affiliated to Kyambogo University and qualifying from the Central Region, will face Northern Region champions Lira Bulls. Kyambogo finished second behind Boks who went the entire season unbeaten but Boks, who are Kobs Rugby Club’s development outfit were opted out of the playoff scrap. The latter beat Eagles of Kitante Rugby Grounds to second place after a tense and drama-filled battle that went up to the last match of the season.

Lira Bulls last tasted premier league rugby in the 2016/17 season where they lit up the country with their raw strength, power and display of untapped talent which birthed the likes of Byron Oketayot.

In the second semifinal, Eastern Region champions Walukuba Barbarians will renew rivalries with Western Region champions Mbarara Titans. The Titans needed a verdict from an independent appeals committee to seal top spot ahead of Tooro Lions who were found to have fielded ineligible players against them during the season.

Walukuba Barbarians were the last team to be relegated from the premier league in the 2018/19 season, in which Alex Aturinda first caught the eye of national team selectors.

The winners this weekend will then face off in the all-or-nothing final whose date and venue have not been communicated by URU.

This will be to replace Warriors Rugby Club who finished tenth at the end of the 2022 season and will be relegated for the first time since its inception.

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

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