After close to two years of starvation from watching the Rugby Cranes 15’s in action, the rugby faithful will be fed well as the men’s team hosts Ghana at Kyadondo Rugby Club on Saturday.
The 3:00 pm kick-off is the first of five games as Uganda, owing to being the top seed in the group, hosts the group C Rugby Africa games featuring Ghana, Zimbabwe, and Algeria. Both the male and female teams will be in action as the Lady Cranes host both games against Zimbabwe, with the first encounter on Wednesday 14th July.
Sadly for the fans, the current 42-day lockdown induced by the second wave of the coronavirus means they won’t access the Lugogo hub of rugby but will stream the games on the Union’s YouTube account. The Ghanaian contingent is already in town, with Zimbabwe and Algeria expected to jet in in time for their games.
New guard at the Cranes.
Following the head coach Robert “Soggy” Sseguya’s unfortunate cancer battle, the Union handed over the mantle to Pirates coach Bobby Musinguzi and a familiar Brian Makalama.
Makalama. Makalama started by appointing the Sea robbers skipper Ivan Magomu as the captain of a team with a plethora of leaders, including former skipper Brian Odongo and Paul Epilo.
Team To Get The Job Done
Santos Ssenteza and Faraji Odugo have been trusted in 1 and 2 respectively, as Brian Odongo returns to the Cranes fold to complete the front row. Kobs’ Robert Aziku will be locking alongside Hippos’ enormous forward Eliphaz Emong as Kelvin Balagade makes his debut as the blindside flanker.
The industrious Isaac Rujumba misses out on a chance to make his maiden Cranes appearance following his suspension from camp as he breached Covid19 protocols giving Byron Oketayot free-way at 7.
Desire Ayera will be tasked to replicate his club form with Pirates as the eighth man.
Brace yourself for a fast-flowing game as the halfback pairing Paul Epilo and the mercurial Ivan Magomu is selected. One area that had given many of the pundits’ headaches in the build-up to the Saturday showpiece fueled by Micheal Okorach’s retirement from the national 15’s is the pairing at the heart of the midfield.
Arguably Uganda’s most versatile player, Pius Ogena, is called up from the Seven’s contingent and entrusted as the inside center with Justin Kimono at 13.
Daudi Ssemwami and Solomon Okia will operate the wings as Adrian Kasiito takes charge at fullback.
16.Ronald Kanyanya, 17.Saul Kivumbi, 18. Collins Kimbowa, 19. Jacob Ochen, 20. Mark Omoding, 21. Aaron Ofoywroth, 22. Maxwell Ebonga, 23. Claude Otema.