Take prick or stay home

Perfect Gentleman. Pius Ogena fends off Ghana player  Ka-cie Addison during Rugby Africa Cup game at Kyadobdo Rugby Grounds. PHOTO/JOHN BATANUDE

What you need to know:

  • The Uganda Rugby Union (URU) is aware of France’s stance on vaccination and are monitoring players’ vaccination status.

The Africa Rugby Cup is due July in Paris, France as eight sides push for slots at the 2023 Rugby World Cup to be held in the same city.

That strictly calls for only Covid-19 vaccinated players to board to France come July when Uganda face archrivals Kenya.

The winner of the eight-team competition will qualify for the World Cup directly while the losing finalist will drop into a repechage final.  

France’s parliament gave final approval to the government’s latest measures to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, including a vaccine pass that will exclude unvaccinated people from restaurants, sports arenas and other venues.

The law comes on the heels of tennis world number one Novak Djokovic being barred from competing at the Australian Open. Now, he could also miss the French Open.

The current health pass became a “vaccine pass” for those over 16 years old and tough penalties for fake passes are some of the new measures approved by France’s National Assembly over the weekend.

Landslide victory
The controversial new bill backed by President Emmanuel Macron was voted 215 in favour to 58 against, paving the way for the law to take effect this week.

Article 1 of the law requires proof of Covid-19 vaccination status for people aged 16 and over, instead of the current health pass, to access leisure activities, restaurants and pubs (except for collective catering), fairs, seminars and trade shows as well as long distance public transport (planes, trains, buses). 

The bill was met with months of angry protests following its announcement last July. Almost 78% of France’s population is fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

A squad of about 40 players is expected to travel for the Africa Rugby Cup in France. There, they are likely to be joined by Phillip Wokorach, who plays professional rugby with French third division side Avenir Sportif Bédarrides-Chateuneuf du Pape.

Vaccination status
The Uganda Rugby Union (URU) is aware of France’s stance on vaccination and are monitoring players’ vaccination status.

“We had most of them vaccinated in November and December in drives pushed by Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL),” URU chief executive officer Ramsey Olinga said.

“We are still keeping tabs on the rest of the group with the help of the team manager,” he added.
Selection is already underway with the Nile Special Rugby Premiership now into matchday three.

Brian Makalama is the coach of the team that progressed from pool C at the expense of Algeria and Ghana.

2023 RUGBY WC QUALIFIERS QUARTERFINALS – JULY
Namibia         vs.     B. Faso
Zimbabwe     vs     C. d’Ivoire
Senegal         vs     Algeria
Uganda         vs     Kenya

UGANDA RESULTS
Uganda 53–12 Ghana
Uganda 16–22 Algeria

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