Home Rugby National 7s National Rugby Sevens: Five Questions Whose Answers We Shall Know By The End

National Rugby Sevens: Five Questions Whose Answers We Shall Know By The End

by James Kavuma
3 minutes read

And again, Uganda rugby’s finest will traverse the country, from Kampala to Jinja, Tororo, Kitgum, and Fort Portal in search of National Rugby glory.

The Sevens calendar always sees the fans follow their stars and make merry, bring flair, spread joy, and live out rugby like it was to be a fun festival.

2023 is here and with it, will be tears, jubilations, curve balls, snares, and in anticipation of it all, we have some questions that we’re sure will be answered by the end of the 2023 series.

1. Will the Jinja Hippos defend their title?

The Jinja Hippos are the defending champions of the National Rugby Sevens having outplayed and outwitted their counterparts last time out.

The Hippos defeated the Heathens in the Buffaloes Sevens semi-finals to clinch their first-ever national crown.

At the time, questions were being asked about Hippos’ mettle to contend at the top of the food chain and they quashed those claims with the National Sevens crown.

Obviously, critics found a new way to look at it. Will the Hippos be able to defend their crown?

The Hippos won one edition over the entire sevens calendar last year, as opposed to their counterparts (Pirates, Heathens, and KOBs) who claimed two each.

But, the hot and cold nature of their performances ensured they couldn’t come close to what the Hippos achieved.

One thing is a given; the team that won the Sevens is not the team today. They’re even better.

Buoyed by minutes off the international calendar with some of their lads representing the country and using this experience to help their team here at home.

So, will they be able to defend their crown? Just plan to be in Jinja as they start their title defense.

2. How Will KOBs Start The 60th Anniversary Celebrations?

Of the last Seven editions, the KOBs have claimed 5. They’re the actual team to beat.


The only two anomalies have come courtesy of the Pirates and the Hippos.

At the launch of the 60th Anniversary celebrations, there were hopes the team would be hosting an event to not only celebrate their greats but also put on an anniversary show.

This has since not been the case and that has left a sour taste in the mouths of the Blue Army faithful.

2022 didn’t go according to plan with the team not winning any silverware with what was on offer and with the 15s premiership done and dusted, the Sevens provides a unique opportunity for the KOBs to stand up and be counted.

The question remains; will they field development sides or will they turn to their seasoned beaters in Kasito, Aredo, Kimono, Munyani, Ogena, et al?

3. Will the Heathens Slumber Party Continue?

This might come as a surprise to many but the Heathens are the most decorated team in the Sevens.

They boast 11 titles, with KOBs the next best with 6. Buffaloes, Hippos, Impis, and Pirates are the other winners with one title each.

You’ll be wise to know that their last title came in 2013 – when President Obama had just started his second term in office, Philip Wokorach was starting university education, Justin Kimono was a wanted man in Zimbabwe and Kenya and WBS TV was still on the air.

Last year was the next best chance they have had in recent memory to claim glory but after an immaculate Arua 7s and Entebbe 7s, they went cold.

The Heathens have fired cold lately whenever Aaron Ofoywroth has been pulled out of the team and this was hugely on display in the premiership and their opponents will be hoping Coach Tolbert summons the Sevens team post haste.

4. Will the Pirates claim a double?

The last time Pirates won the premiership, they went ahead and claimed the Sevens crown too. Who says they can’t do it now?

The Pirates fired hot and cold for the greater part of last year but still managed to walk away with two wins on the calendar. If anyone can go toe to toe with the Hippos, it is the Pirates.

With newfound energy and pursuit of glory, one can argue that coach Marvin is going to call on Magomu and Massa to mastermind his next heist.

On their day, the Pirates can floor anyone and they have the players to do just that. A second sevens title would go well with their 25th Anniversary celebrations.

5. Will URU pull it off?

Unlike previous calendars where out-of-Kampala/Jinja sevens editions were held over one day, the Union has pronounced that all editions this year will be played over two days.

This was not received well by many rugby patrons, arguing that the body was biting off more than it could chew.

How so? In his article, Sama Emmanuel questions the ability of the Union to shoulder and support clubs to handle the travel and accommodation costs out of Kampala and Jinja.

Clubs have been on many occasions reliant on the benevolence of their fans and well-wishers to swim these murky waters.

With rugby not yet a professional sport in the country, many of the players and fans have jobs that will be expecting them to report Monday morning even though they played rugby on Sunday, so far away from their jobs and spent the entire night on the road.

The money earned from these jobs is what keeps rugby afloat and now those sources are coming under scrutiny.

On the off chance that fans actually abscond from the Sunday activities far away from their workplaces, what happens to the ‘festivities’ lined up? Who’ll watch the games?

If the answers to these questions are mostly positive, we’re in for a treat of the finest rugby in East Africa.

Check local stadium listings next to you to know when the boys will be in your area for a Sevens rugby festival.

Courtesy Photos

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