The 2023 Nile Special Rugby League is set to kickoff with an exciting development as Man of the Match for each game is set to receive UGX 100,000, including an accolade (plaque).
This was confirmed on Thursday by league anchor sponsor Nile Special with the action set to start on 14th January up to 13th May 2023 under the theme of “Guts, Grit and Gold.”
Initially, outstanding players were awarded with Nile Special merchandise and no cash was involved.
Speaking at the league launch at Kyadondo Sports Club in Kampala, Nile Breweries Limited Connections Manager John Paul Ssemakula said that the cash for the man of the match for each game is a reward for the players who put their bodies on the line to ensure that their team emerges victorious.
“We know that these players give everything and put their bodies on the line. It takes gut and grit to actually put up such a show. Like we have done in the past we will continue to reward them, and this time we have put some money to it, we have put UGX 100,000 for every man of the match. There is also an accolade as well because we want you to be remembered as well,” Ssemakula said.
“As a brand, we appreciate talent and we are excited to continue this journey as number one fan of Uganda’s rugby — and as sponsors, we also pledge to support all the teams in the Nile Special Rugby League in the best way we can,” Ssemakula added.
Ssemakula adds that he anticipates a competitive season as holders Platinum Credit Heathens will seek to keep the silverware at their grasp but also other sides will seek to relieve the “yellow machine” of the crown.
New URU CEO Isaac Lutwama noted that this promises to be one of the most competitive seasons and he’s looking forward to the 18 weeks of rugby.
“The growth of the game has given us winners outside Kampala (referring to Jinja Hippos who won last year’s Nile Special 7s). I know even in the league I believe teams like Walukuba, Rhinos, Hippos, Impis will be up for the challenge against the traditional three (Heathens, Pirates and Kobs,” Lutwama said.
Lutwama adds that they intend to create a memorable atmosphere on and off the pitch and Nile Special discounted offers on their products will make matchdays a worthwhile outing.
The opening weekend will witness Pirates host arch rivals and holders Heathens at Kings Park Arena in Bweyogerere. The two sides last met in the 2022 Uganda Cup final less than a month ago with the latter coming atop. The 3 PM clash will be live on NBS Sport.
Nile Special Rugby Premier League
Opening matchday, Saturday 14th January
3 PM – Pirates vs Heathens @Kings Park
4 PM – Mongers vs Rams @Entebbe
4 PM – Hippos vs Impis @Dam Waters
4 PM – Kobs vs Walukuba @Legends
4 PM – Buffaloes vs Rhinos @Kyadondo.