KAMPALA- Seasoned Cranes centre Michael Wokorach has been ruled out of both Elgon Cup legs after being named in the National Sevens side that will represent Uganda at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland this month.
The first leg is scheduled for July 12 in Kampala, a day before the Rugby Cranes 7s side heads to the United Kingdom.
The Protector Heathens captain, who has been replaced by teammate Michael Tamale, has however thrown a spanner in coach Peter Magona’s works after he told Daily Monitor that he is willing to play in the first leg and then join the Commonwealth contingent for the flight to Glasgow on the subsequent day.
“It’s painful to miss a game against Kenya,” said the stylish player nicknamed Wokos.
“Every Ugandan rugger’s dream is to play against Kenya and I am not different. It’s more than a rugby game. I would love to play before I travel hours later but it’s out of my hands. It’s the coaches’ decision to make,” added the reigning Nile Special-Uspa Male Rugby Player of the Year. Sevens exponents Allan Otim and Jasper Ochen will also miss the rubbers while former captain Matthias Ochwo is out with an Achilles injury. Eric Butime and Lawrence Wakabi have opted out due to personal commitments.
Coach Magona has shown desire to win by reinforcing the side that is still healing from the bruises and knocks sustained in Tunisia. He has summoned seven fresh players; Chris Lubanga (fly half), Solomon Okia (wing), Patrick Leku (centre), Ronald Musajjagulanyago (flanker), Ezekiel Okol (lock), Dennis Mugambe (prop) and James Okello (prop).
The former Rugby Cranes and Heathens captain has also asked fans to keep faith in the team despite the recent slump and promised that the team will put up a decent fight come match day. “I don’t know of any coach who guarantees results unless it’s a complete mismatch, that’s why I can’t promise a win but am expecting a good game from my side,” said Magona during yesterday’s press conference at Legends Rugby Club.
Uganda Rugby Union (URU) chairman Andrew Owor refuted claims that the Kenyans will field a weakened side. “The Elgon Cup is an International Rugby Body (IRB) sanctioned event thus having an effect on rankings. I have confirmed that Kenya is fully committed to the event,” said Owor. Meanwhile for the first time in the Elgon Cup, the Uganda and Kenya U-19 sides will also clash before the women and senior men take to the turf.