Wednesday April 30 2014

Rugby: Elgon Cup on verge of extinction



Kampala- After a decade of power imbalance in the annual Elgon Cup, record winners Kenya want out.

Although Uganda still want to be a part of it, eight-time winners Kenya say it is no longer of value to their side. This development should not have been particularly surprising, though, given that Kenya seem to have bigger goals on their agenda.

The Kenya Lions have World Cup qualifiers in June where they play tricky ties against Namibia, Zimbabwe and Madagascar. In search of a higher ranking, they have also opted for a friendly match against Portugal, which means the first team will be unavailable for the Elgon Cup.

According to Kenyan website, Kenya 15s Team Manager Wangila Simuyu says they need to play against top opposition if they are to get to the World Cup. “If we want to play at the World Cup, we will not achieve that goal by playing Rwanda and Uganda. We need high profile matches.”

However, the Ugandan side could still take on the Kenya A side if they really want this year’s Elgon Cup to happen. The Uganda Rugby Union (URU) has met the news with shock.

“It’s a big surprise because we were with the KRFU vice chairman Phillip Jallango over the weekend for the opening weekend round of the Bamburi but he said nothing to us,” said URU’s Jacob Bukenya.
But former Kobs player Bobby Bibangamba thinks it’s cynical for Kenya to defer the event.

“Kenya might have cleaned up its act but a few years ago we beat them at Ngong Road at Impala. They should honour the tourney.”