Isabella Ira Credit: XynthiaRoy(TW) for Whales Rugby Academy

Rugby League, a variation of the sport of rugby, was officially launched in Uganda three months ago in August under the Whales Rugby League Academy.

Whales Rugby Academy had been an active participant in rugby union, playing both sevens and tens.

Thereafter, the Rugby League Uganda federation earned observer status with the Middle East and Africa (MEA) Rugby League which formalized its existence in the country.

Last Sunday, an exhibition event was held at the Kids of Africa Swiss Children’s Village in Bwerenga off Entebbe Road. The exhibition featured a 9s championship for both men and women and a 9s championship for differently-abled persons.

All four of the founding clubs – Whales Bwerena, Saza, Musoto, and Busesa Community – who were at the launch event back in August participated in this exhibition.

There were two matches between select men’s and women’s teams. Select A was victorious over Select B in both men’s and women’s matches by 16-12 and 16-00 respectively.

Two of the players, Isabella Ira and Cabrine Kirabo, represented the Lady Rugby Cranes during the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup 2022 (played in a rugby union XVs format).

“The great exhibition confirmed our mission to establish an enabling environment in which young athletes can reach their full potential,” Whales Rugby League Academy founder Fortunate Irankunda said.

Arnold Mananu

Arnold Mananu, a Kyadondo tag rugby graduate who plies his trade in the USA, is a name that comes to mind when speaking about young athletes reaching their full potential.

Uganda’s first rugby league championship is expected to kick off in April next year.

Ernest Akorebirungi is Uganda's top rugby writer and commentator with experience in local tournaments like the national XVs competitions and sevens series. He has also reported at international tournaments...

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