Credit: John Batanudde

One of Uganda’s most successful and individually-acclaimed rugby players from the late 2000s and early 2010s, Brenda Kayiyi is set to return to international rugby after nearly a decade away from the sport.

In her heyday, Kayiyi swept the union URU awards, the sports scribes USPA monthly and annual gongs, and multiple other local awards for her exceptional rugby playing skills.

Kayiyi was named among the substitutes that will represent Uganda during the 2023 Elgon Cup this Saturday, November 11, in Kisumu, Kenya.

Standing alongside her is a squad laden with rookies at the start of their budding rugby careers. There is a mix of experience as well, including speedster Emilly Lekuru whose omission from the 7s squad was a hot and controversial topic.

Lady Rugby Cranes squad for 2023 Elgon Cup:

  • Starting: 1 Faith Namugga (Avengers), 2 Fazirah Namukwaya (Avengers), 3 Patricia Anek (Thunderbirds), 4 Leona Acen (Black Pearls), 5 Charity Atimango (Thunderbirds), 6 Peace Mirembe (Black Pearls), 7 Cabrine Kirabo (Avengers), 8 Angella Nanyonjo (Avengers). 9 Sarah Nakafeero (Thunderbirds), 10 Tina Akello (Nile Rapids), 11 Georgina Namukose (Avengers), 12 Asha Nakityo (Thunderbirds), 13 Monica Nandudu (Mbale), 14 Emilly Lekuru (Black Pearls), 15 Juliet Nandawula (Avengers).
  • Substitutes: 16 Kadara Nalinya (Panthers), 17 Brenda Kemigisha (Avengers), 18 Doreen Mbabazi (Panthers), 19 Nahia Fazial (Thunderbirds), 20 Brenda Kayiyi (Panthers), 21 Fatuma Ramia (Panthers), 22 Evelyn Angom (Panthers), 23 Florence Babirye (Avengers).

Uganda will face eternal rivals Kenya who won the last edition of the Elgon Cup in 2019 after its reintroduction.

Kenya also beat Uganda in their last meeting during the 2022 Rugby Africa Women’s Cup at Wankulukuku.

There will be only one leg of the women’s Elgon Cup because the Kenya squad had just returned from the WXV 3 tournament in Dubai where they successfully retained their slot for next year’s edition.

This match will be the first of two tests scheduled to be played at the Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium Mamboleo in Kisumu.

The second match will be the men’s return leg. Uganda lead Kenya by just one point having won the first leg at Kings Park on Sunday during the Victoria Cup decider.

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...

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