The Rugby Sevens Cranes returned from a seven day camp in Kapchorwa last Saturday with more progress made towards achieving their calendar goals.
The side, coached by Tolbert Onyango, is in line for the final Olympics qualifying round due in June in Monaco, France, after being moved from Biarritz.
Uganda and 11 other countries will compete for the last ticket to Tokyo, Japan, in a round robin format that will have three pools of four sides from which sides will make the knock out stages.
In Kapchorwa, away from the usual Kyadondo and Legends rugby clubs atmospheres, the side was exposed to the high altitude environment to help them brush off the rust after months of limited training.
The side is undergoing rest before they switch to the next routine.
“It was a great outing with the boys. I would like to thank the coach and the entire boardroom staff for the experience, onto the next one,” read Aaron Ofoyrwoth’s tweet upon return.
The post was one of gratification and hunger for more work.
A cast of Brazil, Chile, Jamaica, Mexico, France, Ireland, Samoa, Tonga, Zimbabwe, China and Hong Kong pose a great challenge for the Cranes.
Beating all the above for a place in the Olympics would be dream come true but a miracle of sorts too.
The likes of France, Samoa and recently Ireland are regulars on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens circuit where the best sides in the world play throughout the year.
The experience and exposure garnered at the circuit is priceless, it’s the kind of placement the Cranes search for whenever they have played at the Hong Kong Qualifier on three occasions.
Back to the continent, Africa Rugby is yet to confirm the annual calendar since they cancelled last year’s due the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, the Africa Rugby Sevens Championship is likely to resurface towards the end of the year like it has always been.
Depending on the continental body’s assessment of the situation, bringing back the competition would put more on Cranes’ plate especially for a competition they have won twice, taken bronze and silver on their last four outings.
Tokyo qualifier teams
China Hong Kong
dbugembe@ ug. nationmedia.com