Uganda Rugby Union (URU) first engaged actively in this rough but painstakingly beautiful game early enough in the years. In the earlier times, the format was purely the 15’s aside, earning the country an international recognition, eventual affiliations and sanctions by the International Rugby Board (IRB). URU is permanently a member of the IRB and the World Rugby Union (WRU) as well as the Confederation of Africa Rugby (CAR)
Many years on, the IRB introduces the peewee format of play-the Rugby Seven’s as a subsidiary of the core setup that is the 15’s aside. In their wisdom, this version could be suitable enough for such shared tournaments like the Common Wealth, the Olympics and The Challengers Series among others, as the IRB continues to innovate and grow the game globally. Like the core version, the Seven’s is also competed in tournaments like The World Cup (Seven’s Rugby World Cup), and The Africa Cup (Africa Rugby Seven’s Cup), complete with qualification path tournaments at both.
If the URU had not a single chance of qualifying for the international bigger stages past the qualifications through the 15’s a side, for fairly a number of times, then, the Seven’s side has come in handy sufficient and forfeiting the dividends on the global stage. The country, through the local Rugby Union has earnestly earned the warranted respect on the international scene with the Seven’s growing by leaps and bounds globally. To put visual scenes to the auditorium of Rugby sport ground of Ugandan Seven’s rugby internationally, there are three simple point cases as examples the country rugby lovers can currently refer to as indicators of local sevens growths and strengths.
In sports, we all hope and wish ourselves ‘next time better’ or even the best. National Seven’s Cranes Rugby Head Coach Tolbert Onyango is one sportsman who always believes in posting the better or the best results every time he goes out for an assignment with his boys. Onyango, if asked about the Seven’s rugby in Uganda, the Kenyan, who has become Ugandan by default, will shock you. He will tell you, “The Seven’s is doing far better than the 15’s rugby”. Having seen the Sevens Rugby Cranes through the past five or more years as head coach, assembling, training and guiding the team, Rugby Seven’s has grown under him.
Through every test, Onyango has emerged with positives far enough than what his bosses at URU could believe he would bring on table for them. Most importantly, Onyango notes that his side continues to carry the promise, picking game after another, tournament after tournament. Although Uganda got defeated by England in their final match in Birmingham Common Wealth, they were confirmed a 10th-place finish, it was only their second loss in Birmingham. This was a plus for Tolbert Onyango’s Seven’s Cranes.
Rugby Seven’s Challengers:
Uganda was one of the 12-men teams who arrived in Santiago, Chile, bidding to secure their place as a core team on the 2023 Series that played between 12thand 16thAugust 2022. Here, the news of a sixth-place finish at the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series 2022 in Santiago, Chile was received. They could not become one of the core teams for the Challenger Series but are certainly better enough. One place higher than they performed at the inaugural Challenger Series two years ago in Chile and Uruguay is certainly positive result going forward. What the team achieved this year is what will go down in history as a painful so-close-yet-so-far quest to become a core World Series outfit. The Uganda Men’s Sevens lost, 12-07, to Hong Kong during their last match at the Estadio Santa Laura in the 5/6th place semifinal.
Word Cup Seven’s
At Kyadondo in April this year, the Rugby Seven’s continued to seal dominance over their counterparts the 15’s aside. They played, and won all there was for them to win on the pitch, qualifying for the World Seven’s Cup in such authoritative style at home. After the challenger series, the lads are now resting and recovering for and in just days, they will fly out for the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 that are just days away in Cape Town, South Africa. What beats everyone’s understanding is, how can the Seven’s become a better version?
That notwithstanding, the fact is that Uganda, surely has a mound of players to pick from, if they must separate the 7’s from the 15’s aside. They however recycle the same players, same faces on both Team roasters. Let’s count one by one. Philip Wokorach, Uganda’s and World’s top scorer at Birmingham this year and, also the Country’s top scorer with six tries and thirteen conversions to his name in Santiago, is a member of the Seven’s and the 15’s Teams.
The other player who also have managed to try scoring for Uganda like Ian Munyani, Aaron Ofoywroth, Timothy Kisiga, Michael Wokorach and Adrian Kasito are members of the 15’s aside team as well. Youngster Karim Arinaitwe and Nobert Okeny also feature. To conclude, The 15’s aside is a good and competitive side but the seven’s continue to set the leading role and a better side for local rugby.
- 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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