Lady Cranes set for Zambia test

Lekuru races clear against Zimbabwe last year. She scored four tries back then and more is expected of her this week. PHOTO/JOHN BATANUDDE 

What you need to know:

The winner of this pool advances to the next phase of the World Cup qualification.

The atmosphere in the Lady Cranes camp has been positive with the players asking fans to make the numbers in the Mutesa II Stadium, Wankulukuku this afternoon for their  2022 Rugby Africa Women’s 15s pool B opener against Zambia.

The average local rugby fan has been accustomed to heading for either Kyadondo or Legends Rugby Club for international games. Wankululuku, a new territory, is today’s hunting ground and the side is counting on the home support. “Come have fun supporting us,” said captain Peace Lekuru.

Zambia, ranked 32 according to World Rugby, are four places better than Uganda in 32. Coach Leo Lubambula also knows something about them. They have enough in their arsenal on their day. “Zambia has got good ball carriers and we cannot take that for granted regardless of their rugby 15s exposure,” he said.

Six debutants have been named in the matchday squad with three of them starting. Scrumhalf Sarah Nakafeero, outside centre Isabella Ira Abbo and fullback Ritah Nadunga start while Immaculate Ninsiima, Cabrine Kirabo and Norah Nabasirye get places on the bench.

Lubambula has praised Nakafeero and Nabasirye for their speed, something he thinks will improve the offence. Winning the physical battle is another facet of the game Lubambula has set the side for. “We have prepared enough and we will want to dominate every collusion and contest opportunity on that pitch,” he added.

After today’s duel, a three days’ rest awaits them before the Lady Cranes return to action against Kenya on Saturday as the competition climaxes. The winner of this pool advances to the next phase of the World Cup qualification.

Starting XV: Patricia Anek, Yvonne Najjuma, Faith Namugga, Winnie Atyang, Sarah Kirabo, Angela Nanyonjo, Mary Gloria Ayot,Lydia Namabiro, Sarah Nakafeero, Charlotte Mudoola, Agnes Nakuya, Peace Lekuru ©, Isabella Ira Abbo, Grace Auma, Rita Nadunga,

Replacements: Fazila Namukwaya, Irene Nzige, Immaculate Ninsiima, Suzan Adong, Cabrine Kirabo, AshaNakityo, Norah Nabasirye, Christine Akello

Coach: Leonard Lubambula

Team Manager: Eunice Olembo

Physio: Nelson Mayeku


Tuesday at Wankulukuku

Uganda vs. Zambia 4pm

October 29  

Kenya vs. Zambia 4pm

November 2

Uganda vs. Kenya 4pm