Home Rugby National Rugby Championship Top Rugby Clubs set for a depth check amidst 7s call-ups.

Top Rugby Clubs set for a depth check amidst 7s call-ups.

by Emmanuel Sama
2 minutes read

Second to injuries, National team call-ups are the most significant measure of team depth, especially for the top rugby clubs.

It’s a no-brainer that the top clubs harbor the best players in the league. The fast, agile, and impact players are pulled away creating a void that most teams find hard to cover.

It is rare to find a team with replacements who are as good as the starters. With the International 7s campaign coming up, the potential players to make the Rugby Cranes 7s team were announced this week.

Platinum Credit Heathens: Michael Okorach, Aaron Ofoyrworth, and Nobert Okeny.
Stanbic Black Pirates: Alex Aturinda, Timothy Kisiga, Mubarak Wandera, and Desire Ayera.
KOBs Rugby Club: Adrian Kasito, Ian Munyani, and Karim Arinaitwe
Jinja Hippos Rugby Club: Timothy Mugisha, Denis Etwau, and Yasin Waiswa.
Others: Ivan Otai (Makerere Impis), William Lukwago (Plascon Mongers), Hossana Opileni (Rams RFC), Aaron Tukei (Toyota Buffaloes), and Philip Wokorach (ASBC).

“We are already late with training, so it’s just about picking the people who we feel can be able to deliver, and then come back to the drawing board in April because we got a long road ahead of us,” commented Uganda 7s Head coach – Tolbert Onyango.

This weekend’s fixtures will be the last set of league games the selected players will participate in till the end of their 7s campaign with the national team this year.

One may ask, won’t having all these star players away on nationalt duty affect the quality of the league? I think not. This will enable us to explore the hidden talents that have been suffocated by these superstars.

Stars shine brightest at night but are close to invisible during the day. 17 is a very small representative of the 450 players registered in the Nile Special Rugby League. So, the league quality won’t be compromised.

“I am not scared, they have been pulled out before. But also if 18 players pour our league, I will be really disappointed,” remarked Isaac Lutwama the CEO of Uganda Rugby Union when the concern was raised.

This shake-up is definitely going to create more competition. Games are going to get tighter and more thrilling. Pirates almost suffered defeat to Impis last year when most of their 7s players were whisked away to national duty.

This year creates a similar scenario, only that this time they’re facing a better Impis side, and they know they can’t underestimate them.

After a good outing last year, Uganda is out to defend its African 7s title, which will guarantee them qualification for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

We also set out to conquer the Challenger series, which is always evading us, and obtain a core status in the World Rugby 7s series.

There are notable new faces on the team. When asked about it, Tolbert Onyango elaborated that they’re looking for understudies for Kasito and Ofoyrwoth.

The coach is focused on creating continuity within the team by grooming these players early enough. This will also give him more options in those positions. He also hinted at more players being called upon along the way.

To sum it all up, this is a good thing for the league. We can only hope that the selected players can translate their Club form onto the international scene. Otherwise, they might return to being bench players in the league.

Courtesy Photos

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