What you need to know:
The Rugby Cranes Sevens has set lofty standards under coach Tolbert Onyango’s tenure and it’s up to the lads to maintain them, something the new faces must be aware of although he wants them to go about their business without any pressure.
Representing your country is a massive milestone for any sportsman but the first time can come with nerves especially at a big stage like the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
As the Rugby Cranes Sevens line up against France for their first game at the Dubai leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, four of lads in Jacob Ochen, Mubaraka Wandera, Tawfiq Bagalana and Timothy Mugisha will find themselves in a completely new territory as debutants.
Dennis Etwau has been there before but it’s been ages, making him feel like a debutant.
The Rugby Cranes Sevens has set lofty standards under coach Tolbert Onyango’s tenure and it’s up to the lads to maintain them, something the new faces must be aware of although Onyango wants them to go about their business without any pressure.
“My message for the new boys is to go out there and enjoy themselves, express yourselves. We can then analyze later on where to improve on,” Onyango told Daily Monitor.
After facing France, Uganda has Ireland and Spain to deal with in pool C. All three of Uganda’s pool opponents are seasoned core series sides, posing a great competition for Uganda which make Onyango believe it’s the perfect stage to blood in his newbies.
“I'm looking at getting the guys to get well versed with the structure of play and getting them to play at high intensity. It’s mighty different from what our local league presents us so therein will be the challenge,” he added.
One of Uganda’s biggest improvements in the side over the years has been how they defend. It is one area Onyango still focuses on with one on one defence his emphasis as it will be key in Dubai.
He is also tasking the side to stick to defensive structure against some of the best players in the world. For him, it’s just a matter of the boys playing our style of rugby and the results will come.
HSBC WORLD RUGBY SEVENS SERIES
Uganda vs France 9:28am
Uganda vs Ireland 1:36pm
Uganda vs Spain 6:07pm
Squad: Michael Wokorach ( Captain), Ian Munyani, Adrian Kasito, Desire Ayera, Aaron Ofoyrwoth, William Nkore, Karim Arinaitwe, Timothy Mugisha, Jacob Ochen, Dennis Etwau, Alex Aturinda, Mubaraka Wandera, Tawfiq Bagalana