The Rugby Cranes will tomorrow, July 21 become the second Uganda rugby side to compete at a World Cup after the Ladies achieved the same feat in Dubai in 2009.
The side is now five days old in San Francisco, USA as they prepare to take on the World in the seventh edition of the Rugby Sevens World Cup.
They come up against an experienced Samoa side at the iconic AT&T Arena but they have nothing to lose or fear, they are at the World Cup, a stage where only the best showcase.
Despite being seeded 20th just above Zimbabwe, Tonga, Papa New Guinea and Jamaica, the Cranes don’t want to be there for the case of making numbers but leave a mark.
“Whoever wants to take us for granted can do it at their own risk, we are here to play and try to win every game,” said captain Michael Wokorach at a send-off dinner by team sponsors Guinness.
If Uganda beat past Samoa, a sterner test awaits in England. Head coach Tolbert Onyango has ruled out any pressure in the camp, instead saying the boys are just excited.
“The boys are ready to play with the best in the world. There is no pressure at all and all we want to do is stick to our game plan and hopefully all pans out well,” Onyango said.
Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa are the only African sides at the Rugby World Cup. Uganda and Zimbabwe qualified of the virtue of getting to last year’s Africa Cup final where the latter lost 7-10. South Africa qualified as core status members the World Rugby Series.
Uganda v Samoa Saturday, July 21 @12:27am
PIRATES TACKLE MBARARA
Meanwhile, Buzz Pirate could only manage a quarterfinals finish in the Mbarara leg of the Guinness National Sevens Series in Mbarara last weekend. The sea robbers were ejected by Rams 5-0 in sudden death extra time to boost their chances of edging closer to their maiden sevens title.
This Saturday, July 21 provides the Conrad Wanyama-captained side a chance to exorcise the Mbarara ghosts when they host the series at Legends Rugby Club.
In honour of one of their own, the Pirates home leg will be themed the Henry Rujumba memorial sevens, celebrating three years since the Pirates legend passed on.
With Betway Kobs breathing down their neck after winning in Mbarara to cut their lead to a mere seven points, Pirates know that a home leg win can restore their lead with two outings left.
Pirates will be even stronger after missing key players like Isaac Massa and Raymond Emanzi who were away in Swakopmund ,Namibia for the Rugby Sevens World Championships over the weekend.
With the pair back in action, coach Bobby Musinguzi`s outfit should be much tougher than they were in Mbarara.