KAMPALA- “We shall not be another team there to compete,” was What Rugby Cranes sevens captain Eric Kasiita had to say as the team was flagged off by National Council of Sports (NCS) officials in Kampala yesterday. The team left for Dubai and later Cape Town to take part in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series scheduled for December 1-2 (Dubai) and December 8-9 (Cape Town).
The World Cup-bound African champions got invites for the legs after defending their African title in October with a 10-7 win against Zimbabwe in the final. Uganda is in pool B with Canada, South Africa and neighbours Kenya for this weekend’s action in Dubai.
Uganda finished 14th out 16 at both legs last year with a lot of positives picked despite still having alot more to learn.
Last year’s experience at the top level should have equipped the side with more amour with a busy 2018 looming.
2018 will be an adventurous year for sevens rugby in Uganda. With the World Cup, Commonwealth games and the World Series qualifiers in Hong Kong, their performances in Dubai and Cape Town will tell how far they have come since returning to the grandest sevens stage a year ago.
Kasiita’s mentality is evidence that the side has grown in different aspects of the game with more confidence. It’s clear the side wants to start competing against the best teams with positive results because its the only way to improve.
Timothy Mudoola returns to the side after years out with Aaron Ofoyirwoth too joining the fold. Exams keep out Timothy Kisiiga and Adrian Kasiito with no big changes. Desire Ayera, James Ijongat and Joseph Aredo are in line for their World Series debuts.
After Dubai, the side will connect to Cape Town, South Africa before returning home to resume training.
TEAM: Eric Kasiita (Captain), James Odongo, Pius Ogena, Kevin Kermundu, Phillip Wokorach (Ass. Captain), Micheal Wokorach, Solomon Okia, Joseph Aredo, Aaron Ofoyrwoth, Desire Ayera, James Ijongat, Timothy Mudoola