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Eyes on World Cup as Uganda gear up for Rugby Africa Women’s Cup

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L-R: Coach Leonard Lubambula, Women's Rugby rep. Regina Lunyolo, LOC's Isaac Lutwama Nsubuga & Nile Special's John Paul Semakula address media on Wednesday.

Lady Rugby Cranes Coach Leonard Lubambula on Wednesday named a team of 25 players that will feature for Uganda at the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup, Pool B scheduled for 25th October to 2nd November 2022 at Mutesa II Stadium, Wankulukuku.

At the same event, the tournament was officially launched by Uganda Rugby Union (URU) and its official partner/sponsor Nile Special . The exercise took place at Sky Hotel in Naguru, Kampala.

Uganda will play host to Zambia (25th October) and neighbors Kenya (2nd November). On 29th October it will be Kenya vs Zambia.

The tournament is the first phase of the Women’s XVs Rugby World Cup Qualifiers for Africa. There are 4 pools in Africa being played in different Countries. Only the Pool winners will qualify for the next round of the qualifiers to be played in 2023.

“We are a better team in terms of exposure and women’s growth in rugby. But we will not underestimate any team, we will take on every game at a time,” Lubambula saod.

“Looking at our opponents Kenya, it’s been a while since we won against them but this is an opportunity to put up a good show against them, we look forward to winning against them, we know their weaknesses and strengths and we will capitalize on that,” Lubambula added.

With only one team set to make it to the next round of the qualifier, Lubambula says that the aim is to win all their games to get closer to the global showpiece.

Lubambula added that Lady Rugby Cranes final team has eight uncapped players. He adds that they have been very exciting in training and he’s looking forward to seeing them on the big stage.

Speaking at the launch, Regina Lunyolo the Women’s Representative on the URU Excom stated that it is optimism abounds in the Lady Rugby Cranes camp.

Qualifying her point, Regina noted that the team has undergone the best possible preparations that the Uganda Rugby Union and its partners found it possible given the tail end of the year.

“A lot goes into the preparation for the games. There are the obvious monetary requirements but it’s much more than that. We have to ensure that the chosen players are the right frame of mind for the task ahead. This is as much a psychological as well as a physical preparation. Both body and mind have to be in sync. Thus far we are very happy with the results we are seeing in training,” she noted.

The Uganda Rugby Union president Godwin Kayangwe expressed gratitude for the continued support from the various sponsors without whom, he noted, the development of the game would not have moved at its current pace.

“There’s a lot that has gone into the development of the women’s game especially increasing the pool of the players. This is still a work in progress and our major focus because the national side can only be as good as quantity and quality of the players available. We are doing this with the support of our reliable sponsors such as Nile Special and Rwenzori. Specifically for this tournament, we are grateful that Protea Skyz Hotel has come on board as the accommodation partner,” Kayangwe said.

As the No.1 fan of Uganda Rugby, Nile Special pledges to rally fans to the games by leveraging its digital platforms and various partnerships to publicize the tournament.

“We have seen what the ladies are capable of elsewhere like in netball and athletics. The route that the lady rugby cranes has embarked on, is a beaten path.

Our pledge is single, that we shall walk with them all the way. For example, this explains why part of our UGX9.8 billion commitment to URU over the four years included the UGX465M for the Women’s 7s and UGX105M towards the Uganda Cup Women,” noted Nile Special’s connection Manager John Paul Ssemakula.

Isaac Lutwama Nsubuga who leads the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) says that they’re good to go as everything is almost in place.

Lady Rugby Cranes Team
Faith Namuga, Patricia Anek, Irene Nzige, Immaculate Ninsiima, Yvonne Najjuma, Fazirah Namukwaya, Winnie Atyang, Sarah Kirabo, Jovia Nyamungu, Cabrine Kirabo, Angella Nanyonjo, Mary Gloria Ayot, Lydia Namabiro, Suzan Adong, Georgina Reginah Mukose, Sarah Nakafeero, Norah Veronica Nabasirye, Charlotte Mudoola, Asha Nabulime Nakityo, Peace Lekuru (C), Isabella Abo Ira, Christine Akello, Grace Auma, Agnes Nakuya & Ritta Nadunga.

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