Common goal for Rugby Cranes amid diversity

Rugby Cranes 7s captain Michael Wokorach supports Timothy Kisiga at the restart against Hong Kong in the Bowl Semifinal at the World Cup. PHOTO/COURTESY 

What you need to know:

The national team won the Bowl, the third tier competition, thereby finishing 17th out of 24 teams at the quadrennial event in Cape Town, South Africa.

Rugby Cranes 7s captain Micheal Wokorach wants to emulate Kenya legend Colin Injera.

Philip Wokorach harbours an ambition of playing at the Olympics. Youngster Karim Arinaitwe knows that he has a lot of work to do.

Coach Tolbert Onyango has his eyes on the horizon for the future of the game.

As the 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens ended on Sunday, the overriding feeling within the national team is to keep Uganda playing at this level.

The national team won the Bowl, the third tier competition, thereby finishing 17th out of 24 teams at the quadrennial event in Cape Town, South Africa.


That's an improvement of two places from four years ago in San Francisco when the Rugby Cranes 7s finished 19th.


"First of all our job is to develop the 7s version of the sport. We have got very good players," Onyango said on Sunday at the Cape Town Stadium.  

"For kids picking up the sport, we need to create a pathway to develop not just nationally but also internationally. It's not just me but there are many Ugandans involved. 


"In the next four years, since the government has started coming through to hold our hand, we can see this through all the way." 


His commander on pitch, Michael Wokorach wants to be here again. Part of the team since 2009, this has been his second Rugby World Cup to add to three Commonwealth Games appearances.

"Injera is an icon in World Rugby. People cherish him a lot for what he has done for his country," Michael Wokorach, 32, said.  
Adding that: "We look up to him and say; Colin has done four (World Cups), why can't I do three? I will keep working hard and see if the coach picks me. It's God who protects you. This sport is tough."  

Injera, 35, made his debut for Kenya in 2006 and reached the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens semifinals.

The winger holds the second place for number of tries scored on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series with 271.

He was the top try scorer for the 2008/9 Sevens Series season with 42 tries and collected 210 points, finishing second behind England's Ben Gollings.


For France-based Philip Wokorach, it's an appearance at the Olympics that remains the ultimate inspiration.

"Yes, we want to play at the World Cup again but qualifying for the Olympics should be our next target," Philip Wokorach noted.

Perhaps, that Olympic will be achieved with Arinaitwe still part of the team as he now understands how much he must grow to play at this level.


"There is a lot of work to do. These guys are super fit, super strong. I need to go back to the drawing board and get better," 23-year old Arinaitwe said.

Of the 12 selected, Onyango used only 10 players with Arinaitwe and Ivan Otema not getting minutes as the going got tough. 

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