Rugby Cranes up ante for Marseille Africa Cup

Sights On France. Rugby Cranes captain Magomu does ball distribution work after earning yardage for Uganda against Algeria  during the Rugby Africa Cup Pool C match last year at Kyadondo RFC. PHOTO | JOHN BATANUDDE

What you need to know:

  • Uganda’s first step towards preparing for the July trip came on March 3 when Fred Mudoola was announced the new Rugby Cranes coach, officially replacing Robert Seguya who had succumbed to Leukemia in December. 

Rugby Cranes have less than two months before they face Kenya in the quarterfinals of the Africa Rugby Cup due in Marseille and Aix-en-Provence, France on the first day of July.

The 2022 edition of the Rugby Africa Cup comes on the back of a controversial decision to host the games away from Africa in France. 

Unyielding pressure

The development was met with criticism but Africa Rugby held onto its stand despite pressure from the continent to rescind.

Uganda’s first step towards preparing for the July trip came on March 3 when Fred Mudoola was announced the new Rugby Cranes coach, officially replacing Robert Seguya who had succumbed to Leukemia in December. 

“I expect a challenge and will work hard to meet the targets set, make sure Uganda rugby goes back to where it used to be,” he promised on appointment hours after Africa Rugby launched its 2022 calendar at Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kampala.

Final training squad

Mudoola has also released the final training 35-man squad with players coming from  local sides Heathens, Kobs, Pirates, Hippos and one from Kenyan outfit Kabras Sugar. Prior to this, the side had a two weeks training camp at Kings Park Bweyogerere before taking a break. They return to work next week after the end of the Nile Special Rugby Premiership.

Kenya camp in SA

Kenya have been in South Africa playing in the Currie Cup First Division since last month as part of their preparations under head coach Paul Odera. They will host two Currie Cup first division matches against South African sides Leopards and Eastern Province Elephants on June 4 and 11 at RFUEA Grounds before leaving for France.

 It is yet unclear whether their quarter final opponents Uganda have build-up games on the way.  But recalled squad boasts of experience in hooker Alex Mubiru.

TRAINING SQUAD 

Ruhweza Alema, Ivan Kabagambe, Conrad Wanyama, Ivan Magomu (captain), James Mugisha, Timothy Odongo, Solomon Okia, Santos Senteza, Ronald Kanyanya, Joachim Chisano, Akera Komaketch, Reynolds Kato, Aziz Khan, Scott Olouch, Paul Epillo, Innocent Gwokto, Joseph Oyet, Alex Mubiru, Eliphaz Emong, Isaac Rujumba, Jacob Ochen, Tawfiq Bagalana, Dennis Etwau, Collins Kimbowa, Faraji Odugo, Saul Kivumbi, Jude Jukko, Arthur Mpande, Michael Otto, Emmanuel Ecodu, Robert Aziku, Pius Ogena, Al Hajji Manano, Joseph Aredo, Asuman Mugerwa.

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