Edison Ariho Credit: Denise Namale/Uganda Rugby Union (TW)
  • Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy – 7/8th Place Playoff
  • 9 a.m. EAT: Madagascar vs Uganda
  • Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi, Kenya.

Uganda has had a rather disappointing campaign at the Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya. Two losses on the bounce – one, as expected against Kenya and the other, surprisingly against Zambia – have dropped them below the mark they set last year at the same venue.

Now, it boils down to one thing; surviving relegation. And standing between them and survival is a struggling Madagascar side who are a shadow of their past selves. The island nation finished in second and third positions in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

Coach Katuntu, who had to make do with a squad plagued by illness against Zambia, finds himself in a similar position for this match. This time, due to injuries sustained in the match on Wednesday morning. David Bajjananseko and Julius Oyuk who played all minutes in the first two matches will not take part in the final one.

Uganda Squad for Madagascar:

  • Starting: 1 Edison Ariho, 2 Moses Mununuzi, 3 Rodney Takan, 4 Ethan Mugabi, 5 Bright Mukisa, 6 Shakul Kigozi, 7 David Awan, 8 Francis Bogere, 9 Stuart Michael Mwayi, 10 Gift Wokorach, 11 Yusuf Ssali, 12 Hashim Kabogoza, 13 Fredrick Mulindwa, 14 Robert Ssentongo, 15 Calvin Gizamba (Captain).
  • Substitutes: 16 Mark Mikaya, 17 Sami Lumala, 18 Hamidu Simdilana, 19 Edgar Okore, 20 Hamza Ssempijja, 21 Matthew Musasizi, 22 Rodney Mugume, 23 Arnold Ocen.

This brings Gift Wokorach into the starting lineup at flyhalf with captain Calvin Gizamba shifted to fullback. Vice-captain David Awan replaces Bajjananseko.

Both Uganda and Madagascar are aiming not only for their first win but also for the saving grace to conclude a forgettable campaign. The winner on Sunday morning will book their ticket for next year’s event while the loser will drop to the repechage tournament for a way back in.

Ernest Akorebirungi joined Kawowo Sports in July 2019 after one year as a student volunteer at the Makerere University Games Union. In his role as rugby correspondent, he offers unique insight and analysis...

Leave a comment

Please let us know what you think