Coach Tolbert Onyango hints at perfectly blending new and old for the Africa Rugby 7s championships though what is left to witness is how the results will come out.
As such, 7s Head Coach Tolbert and the Wokorach brothers of Michael and Phillip will be leading it as Rugby Cranes 7s Men seek to deliver Africa Rugby Title.
Onyango gives instructions but after all, stays on the touchline playing a tough and challenging role of a coach while Michael Wokorach’s role as team captain is, but remains the man to guide well the other members of the team on the field of play -such a tough call so to say.
Tolbert and Wokorach are both leaders. However, one man both Head Coach-Tolbert and team captain Michael Wokorach are sure of leading the park and delivering the country to the Africa Rugby men’s 7s victory is Phillip Wokorach.
And, this is not because the two are brother having made the final twelve and playing for the team but because he (Phillip) has the quality and game expertise the team needs now going into the continental Showpiece-Africa Rugby Men’s 7s, that comes down at Kyadondo rugby club this weekend April 23rd and 24th after URU sought host rights and were unquestionable granted by Rugby Afrique to that effect.
The same opinion by captain Wokorach (Michael) as is shared by head coach, Kenya tactical man Tolbert Onyango, also see’s big potential in Wokorach (Phillip) who heed to head coach’s call and arrived for duty from a French rugby league.
“Phillip’s addition to the team is a big hope for the team and the country. His experience and exposure could surely shake things here, put pressure on the visitors which is good for the team.” Noted Michael Wokorach, Cranes Rugby 7s skipper and brother to Philip.
“Well, we all agreed that we needed Phillip at such a tournament for the team. He joined and he hopefully won’t disappoint,” Tolbert Onyango also talked of Phillip while taking team through Tuesday morning training session at Kyadondo.
Phillip Wokorach currently plays for AS Bédarrides – Châteauneuf-du-Pape in France as fullback. After three months of non and residential training coach Tolbert Onyango on Wednesday announced his final twelve squad.
He said all players were deserving but needed only twelve for the job and his remarks are to both those selected and those that did not make the twelve.
“The final team has been selected. It’s been three months of rigorous training. The boys have put their bodies, hearts and heads to the game throughout the sessions and we expect the very best from them.” Tolbert noted.
“For the twelve selected good luck and for the six who could not have made it, there is always a lot of opportunities for you because we have the safari 7s, the World cup 7s and there is another Africa Cup so there is a lot of rugby for you to play.” Tolbert wishing good luck to the final team and then some really hope to the six that did not make the list.
Ruggers Karim Arinaitwe, Desire Ayera, Ivan Claude Otema, Kelvin Balagadde and Timothy Kisiga are part of the team as debutants to the Rugby Africa Sevens having not featured at the 2019 event in South Africa.
At that event, Uganda were silver medalists behind champions Kenya who beat them, 29-00, in the main cup final in South Africa. Uganda kick start their campaign at home with a round one matchup against Burundi.
The last time Uganda hosted the Rugby Afrique 7s Championship, the Rugby Cranes defeated Zimbabwe 10-7 to lift the title with an eventual qualification ticket for the 2018 World Cup in San Francisco.
Uganda has won the Rugby Africa Men’s 7s Cup twice, 2016 (Nairobi) and 2017 (Kampala), while Kenya is the defending champion coming into this tournament, having defeated Uganda in the final of the 2019 edition in South Africa.
Hosts Uganda will be joined by thirteen (13) other African countries including Kenya, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Tunisia, Senegal, Mauritius, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Cameroon, Namibia, Zambia, and Burundi for the 2-day long tournament.
By Wednesday, at least five countries including Tunisia, Zimbabwe and Botswana, Ghana had already arrived for the 2022 Rugby Africa 7’s tournament and the other are expected to have arrived by Thursday evening.
The Rugby 7’s in Kampala will be the qualifies for both the Commonwealth Games in July 2022 and the Rugby 7’s World Cup due September 2022 in South Africa.
Team Uganda Final squad;
Ian Munyani, Adrian Kasito, Balagadde Kelvin, Philip Wokorach, Kisiga Timothy, Michael Wokorach, Desire Ayera, Aaron Ofoyrowth, Massanganzira Isaac, Okeny Nobert, Claude Otema, Karim Arinaitwe
- Mr. Daniels N. Tatya is an affluent Sports Writer, Commentator and Editor. His over 15 years of covering almost major sporting events makes him a revered and an authority on investigative Sports journalism in Uganda. He can also be reached via [email protected] +256(0)758268315
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