Rugby Cranes (Uganda Rugby Union senior men’s team) Head Coach Fred Mudoola says that his side is ready for the Rugby Africa Cup in France.
The event is slated for 1st to 10th July 2022 in Marseille and Aix-en-Provence with eight African teams participating.
The tournament doubles as a qualifier for the Rugby World Cup 2023 that will be played in France. One team will qualify directly and will be seeded in Group A of the global showpiece against France, New Zealand, Italy and the Americas 1 qualifier.
Rugby Cranes traveling contingent was flagged off on Monday at Cooper Chimney Restaurant in Lugogo, Kampala by Minister of State for Sports Hamson Obua, representatives from National Council of Sports (NCS) and Uganda Rugby Union (URU).
Coach Mudoola says that his side put in the work during the pre-tournament camps are in good shape for the showpiece.
“We trained for around three months and at this point there’s no turning back…we now have to showcase what we can do,” Mudoola said.
The participating teams at the Rugby Africa Cup are; Namibia, Burkina Faso, Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Algeria.
Uganda’s side has seven debutants, much younger guys plus senior players with many caps, a cocktail Mudoola says is good for the team.
“That’s also good because it means you’re trying to grow a normal pool especially after separation of XVs and 7s, yes it has a lot of debates… whether it’s good or bad in a long run we shall see but it gives an opportunity to younger players,” Mudoola added.
Uganda will face neighbors Kenya in the quarterfinals of the qualifiers while Namibia will come up against Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe meets Ivory Coast while Senegal will take on Algeria.
“Like any other team we expect to win our game(s) that’s why we’re traveling there. Kenya are very physical, they use a lot of their forwards in the red zone but we’re ready for them, we can’t give excuses,” Mudoola noted.
The runner-up at the tournament will have a chance to the final global Qualifiers of the World Cup.
2nd July: Quarter finals fixtures
Uganda vs Kenya
Zimbabwe Vs Ivory Coast
Senegal vs Algeria
Namibia vs Burkina Faso
Rugby Cranes contingent
Robert Aziku (KOBs), Emong Eliphaz (Jinja Hippos), Paul Epillo (Heathens), Thomas Gwokto (Heathens), Joseph Aredo (KOBs), Ronald Kanyanya (Heathens), Collin Kimbowa (KOBs), Akera Komakech (Heathens), Ivan Magomu (Stanbic Black Pirates), Alhaji Manano (KOBs), Asuman Mugerwa (Kabras), James Mugisha (Stanbic Black Pirates), Jacob Ochen (Jinja Hippos), Uhuru Charles (Heathens), Timothy Odong (Stanbic Black Pirates), Faraj Odugo (KOBs), Pius Ogena (KOBs), Solomon Okia (Stanbic Black Pirates), Joaquim Chisano (Heathens), Scott Oluoch (Heathens), Mark Omoding (Kenya Harlequins), Michael Otto (KOBs), Joseph Oyet (Heathens), Alema Ruhweza (Stanbic Black Pirates), Lawrence Ssebuliba (Heathens), Santos Ssenteza (Heathens), Conrad Wanyama (Stanbic Black Pirates), Philip Wokorach (AS Bédarrides – Châteauneuf-du-Pape)
*Coach – Fred Mudoola
*Assistant – Anthony Donald Heugh
*Assistant – Robert Musinguzi
*Technical Manager – Eric Butime
*Physio – Noah Kayongo
*Doctor – Sulaiman Wasukira
*Strength And Conditioning – Allan Otim.