Shuffled Rugby Cranes 7s want Olympic debut

Friday June 11 2021
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The medals and tray to be used for the medal ceremonies at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games are seen during an event to mark 50 days to the opening ceremony, at Ariake Arena in Tokyo on June 3, 2021. PHOTO/AFP

By Deus Bugembe

Dan Norton, Jerry Tuawei, Perry Baker, Ngarohi Mc Garvey Black and JC Pretorius are some of the world’s best rugby sevens players.

They will once again be at it next month at the Tokyo Olympics, where rugby will be played for the second time at the Olympics.

Rugby Cranes 7s captain Michael Wokorach has before expressed the side’s desire to rub shoulders with the world’s best. They have done it at the World Cup, Commonwealth Games and on the HSBC 7s circuit as an invite side but the Olympics could be the grandest of stages.

But before dreaming of playing at the Olympics, one must first get there and the Cranes will have to win a repechage tournament in Monaco, France at the Stade Louis II Stadium.

Yesterday, Rugby Cranes 7s coach Tolbert Onyango took the first step towards qualification by naming his 12 man side for the qualifier. Levis Ocen continues to impress Onyango in training, staying put in the side since that maiden call for the 2019 Safari Sevens.

Timothy Kisiga gets the nod too after a long injury spell that saw him return for the Stellenbosch solidarity camp.
Byron Oketayot’s physical presence will be of help for a side short of bulkiness to bully opposition.

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The old man of the side Michael Wokorach maintains his place as captain assisted by Phillip Wokorach.
Joseph Aredo misses out alongside his Betway Kobs’ teammate James Odong. Pirates’ Balagadde also sits out this one despite making the yards while Nobert Okeny keeps his place.

Uganda get their Olympics qualification quest off in pool B against France, Chile Jamaica and Hong Kong.
With France, Hong Kong and Chile, Uganda needs to be at its best to progress from the pool into the elimination rounds.

Olympic Qualifiers 

Pool B: France, Chile, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Uganda

Uganda's fixtures

June 19
Uganda         vs.         Jamaica, 7:22pm
Hong Kong         vs         Uganda 11:06 am
France         vs         Uganda 7:23pm

June 20 
Chile         vs         Uganda 2:39pm

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