EDITOR’S NOTE: Michael Wokorach has since walked back on his earlier announcement to retire. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by earlier reports on this news. All content added to or removed from this article since the announcement is written in italic type scale.
Uganda Men’s Sevens captain and former Rugby Cranes international Michael Wokorach has announced his retirement from international rugby.
“Nange ndi muntu nkoowa,” loosely translated as “I am also a person, I get tired,” is how the former captain, who just turned thirty-two on April 14 announced his retirement on Twitter on Monday afternoon.
He chose the perfect day for the announcement, coincidentally, as May 1 is the International Labour Day public holiday. In the tweet, Wokorach also congratulated the new captain Ian Munyani, to whom officially handed over the armband over the weekend during the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series 2023.
Munyani was first handed the reins ahead of the Safari Sevens 2021. He will now be assisted by Aaron Ofoyrwoth following Wokorach’s departure.
Wokorach had a successful career, by Ugandan standards, spanning over a decade. He played and captained Uganda at four Commonwealth Games events since 2010, five Challenger Series events since 2020, two Rugby World Cup Sevens events since 2018, the annual Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens since 2010, and multiple Sevens World Series events as an invitational team since as far back as 2009.
Wokorach toured all the ends of the world with the Uganda Men’s Sevens. From San Francisco, USA to Gold Coast, Australia, and from Glasgow, United Kingdom to Cape Town, South Africa. It is a privilege only the best get to experience.
However, he leaves the Uganda Men’s Sevens setup with unfinished business of qualifying for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. It is a dream, alongside going to the Olympic Games, that never came to life for him, and Uganda as well.
Wokorach revealed that he will stay within the setup to prepare for the Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens 2023 in September in Zimbabwe. The tournament will serve as Africa’s qualifier for the Paris Olympic Games 2024.
Here comes the curveball. Knowing Ugandan veteran athletes, one should not be surprised to see Wokorach back in the fold in a few years. In 2019, Wokorach retired from test rugby the Rugby Cranes but he announced his availability two years later following the death of his beloved coach Robert Seguya.
Other rugby veterans who left the door to the turf ajar include Dennis Etuket, Davis Kyewalabye, Oscar Kalyango, Brian Tabaruka, and Allan Musoke. Wokorach’s former S&C coach Timothy Mudoola famously came back from retirement to compete at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2018.
Wokorach will return home from international duty to boost his club Heathens through the climax of the 2023 men’s premier league with two matches left to play.