You know Ugandan rugby is wrapping up its calendar when teams shift from the gruelling XVs format to the short and entertaining Sevens series. While it has not yet been launched officially, teams were already gearing for the next trophy up for grabs – the 2022 national sevens series.

And on Monday afternoon, in an online meeting hosted at the Uganda Rugby Union office via Google Meet, they got to know their opponents for the first event when the pools for the Mileke Sevens were drawn.

Mileke Sevens, hosted by Warriors Rugby Club at Legends Rugby Grounds from July 9-10, will comprise sixteen teams. These are the ten core sides, including Walukuba Barbarians who replaced Sailors relegated after the 2021 series.

The remaining six sides have been invited from the Central Region. Rhinos topped the standings after three rounds of the regional sevens and will, alongside Boks, play for core status later this year.

Mileke Sevens Pools:

  • Pool A: Kobs, Impis, Walukuba Barbarians, Jaguars.
  • Pool B: Black Pirates, Warriors, Boks, Sailors.
  • Pool C: Heathens, Mongers, Rams, Rams 2.
  • Pool D: Jinja Hippos, Buffaloes, Rhinos, Intangas.

Top-seeded Kobs begin their Mileke Sevens defence in Pool A against a stubborn Jaguars side from Entebbe. Makerere Impis’ development outfit Intangas, playing in their first national sevens series event, will be the freshest team in the competition.

Kobs Rugby Club players celebrate Mileke Sevens victory

Rugby Sevens spreads farther upcountry

During the 2021 season, the sevens series was a min-nationwide tour upcountry to the cities of Soroti, Kabale and Gulu, and the reception was high, especially in Soroti where fans attendance matched that in Kampala circuits.

It is no coincidence therefore that Soroti retains its place on the 2022 calendar, this time being the second round. Arua City will host the third round as top tier rugby heads to the virgin territories in the West Nile region.

This year’s Western Region circuit will be played in the tourism city of Fort Portal in Kabarole district, also a first.

Full National Sevens Series calendar:

EventLocationDate
1Mileke SevensLegends Rugby GroundsJuly 9-10
2Soroti SevensSoroti Municipal Stadium, Soroti CityJuly 16
3Arua SevensGreenlight Stadium, Arua CityAugust 6
4Rujumba SevensKings Park StadiumAugust 13-14
5Fort Portal SevensBuhinga Stadium, Fort Portal CityAugust 27
6Jinja SevensKyabazinga Stadium, BugembeSeptember 3-4
7Kyadondo SevensKyadondo Rugby ClubSeptember 17-18

With the country’s creme de la creme of rugby players engaged with national duty, a new team could potentially break the Kobs – Pirates duopoly that has dominated for half a decade now; when the cat’s away, they say.

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

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