The Uganda Rugby Cranes will be under a bit of pressure when the Africa Sevens Championship gets underway today at Legends grounds.
Having defeated giants Namibia to win the continental piece of silverware last year in Nairobi, anything less than victory on home soil will not be appreciated.
“We want to perform and we are giving it our best shot,” assistant captain Philip Wokorach said on Wednesday.
The Cranes, fresh from finishing tenth out of twelve countries at the Oktoberfest in Germany, have some new faces to the side.
Joseph Aredo is the biggest inclusion and will feature for the Sevens side for the first time in his career. For Wokorach, who has been a mainstay on the team in recent years, the lessons learnt in Germany present the hosts a chance of retaining the championship.
“We learnt a lot in Germany because we played against some of the best nations,” he said.
England, Argentina and Germany were some of Uganda’s opponents at the event. The experience of Michael Wokorach, team captain Eric Kasiita and the steady growth of Adrian Kasiito present the Cranes with an opportunity to thrill the home crowd.
Aredo’s awareness and ability to find spaces and attack the line further hands the home side the right to be one of the favourites. Kasiita, Wokorach, Kasiito, James Odong and Lawrence Sebuliba were all part of the side that defeated Kenya and Namibia enroute to winning last year.
Without Kenya and Namibia, Zimbabwe will be the main challenger to the home side. Uganda is in group A with Tunisia, Morocco, Zambia and Ghana.
Ten teams will compete at this year’s edition.