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Local rugby body ‘turned down’ SARU technical help

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Rugby Cranes coach Peter Magona and URU chief Andrew Owor, adress the media.

Rugby Cranes coach Peter Magona and URU chief Andrew Owor, adress the media recently. Saru is still awaiting for responses to emails sent to Owor. PHOTO BY E. CHICCO. 

By ISMAIL DHAKABA KIGONGO

Posted  Tuesday, July 8   2014 at  01:00

In Summary

Local rugby is going through its lowest point in years but stayed quiet on invitations to receive technical support from South Africa and the IRB

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KAMPALA

Uganda Rugby Union (URU) was offered technical support by their South African counterparts and the local body seems to have turned a deaf ear.
Daily Monitor has received a string of emails sent to URU by the International Rugby Board (IRB) General Manager for Development, Morgan Buckley, and his subordinate for Africa, Jean-Luc Barthes.

The emails were sent in March and early April to URU chairman Andrew Owor, voted in last year, for approval and to this day, no response has been made.
Buckley wrote that; “Since the beginning of the year CAR and IRB proposed to the URU to send your CEO, Development Manager and S and C coaches to Stellenbosch for trainings. CAR and IRB would pay tickets and accommodation.

“Until today all the invited unions have confirmed their participations and visits are planned. No concrete answer from the URU.

“During the leading rugby in Cape Town, you requested a technical support to work on your performance plan. Steph Neil from SAS (Stellenbosch Academy of Sport) agreed to come, I asked you to propose to me dates, no answer.”

SARU offered to train union CEOs and National Technical Directors for all Anglophone unions. Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Kenya, Swaziland and Nigeria have submitted names and requirements and done the three-week courses, returning home with equipment.

This could be some of the reasons why URU officials Jacob Bukenya and Brian Tabaruka resigned last week citing “the on-going policy confusion and a clear cut lack of strategic direction by the current URU executive committee.”

Buckley and Barthes seem worried about the state of the game here.
“Two years ago your national team was close to winning the Africa Cup 1B, today, you are relegated in group C,” Barthes wrote.

“Last year you went to Tunisia for the U-19 with a group of too young players and you only had the opportunity to play friendly matches. “What is happening with the URU? The situation seems to be critical. Can we assist you and your board?”

When Uganda rose to winning the Africa Cup in 207, South Africa Rugby Union (SARU) offered a lot of technical support including sending coaches. Those privileges have since shifted to Kenya and they are close to qualifying for next year’s Rugby World Cup.

editoria@ug.nationmedia.com