Uganda Sevens Gears Up for Olympic Repechage with Renewed Determination

Read in 2.34 mintues

Uganda Sevens prepares for Olympic Repechage in Monaco.
Squad includes experienced players aiming for Paris 2024 qualification.
Challenges ahead against strong teams like Great Britain and Canada.
Focus on redemption and strategic improvement from previous tournaments.

As the countdown to the Olympic Games Repechage intensifies, Uganda Sevens head coach Tolbert Onyango has unveiled a carefully curated squad set to compete in the pivotal tournament at Stade Louis II in Monaco from June 21-23. This event represents the final opportunity for teams to secure a berth at the 2024 Paris Olympics, adding an extra layer of intensity to the competition.

A Second Chance at Glory

Uganda finds itself in Pool B, a challenging group featuring formidable opponents such as Great Britain, Canada, and China. These matchups are not only a test of skill but also of resilience and strategy. The team is eager to redeem itself after a less-than-stellar performance at the World Rugby HSBC 7s Challenger Series in Munich, where they finished in a disappointing sixth place.

Veteran Experience and New Blood

Returning to the squad are seasoned players Ian Munyani, Adrian Kasito, Pius Ogena, and Timothy Kisiga, who were strategically rested during the final games in Munich. Their presence brings a wealth of experience and tactical knowledge essential for navigating the high-stakes matches in Monaco.

However, the team will be missing key players Isaac Massa, Desire Ayera, and Aaron Ofoyrwoth, whose absence could impact the squad’s dynamics. The onus is now on the remaining players to step up and fill the void left by these experienced athletes.

Strategic Preparations

Coach Onyango’s selection reflects a blend of experience and youthful energy, aiming to create a balanced and versatile team. The squad comprises:

  • Ian Munyani (Captain)
  • Alex Aturinda
  • Philip Wokorach
  • Pius Ogena
  • Timothy Mugisha
  • Allan Olango
  • Karim Arinaitwe
  • William Nkore
  • Roy Kizito
  • Adrian Kasito
  • Timothy Kisiga
  • Norbert Okenyi

This lineup is supported by a robust backroom team, including Physio Samuel Asiimwe, Strength and Conditioning Coach Allan Otim, and Team Manager Micheal Wandera.

The Road to Paris

The tournament in Monaco will feature 12 men’s and 12 women’s teams, each vying for the single remaining spot in their respective categories for the Paris Olympics. Uganda’s men’s team faces an arduous journey, with their pool opponents known for their competitive edge and rugby prowess.

The Pools for the men’s tournament are as follows:

  • Pool A: South Africa, Chile, Tonga, Mexico.
  • Pool B: Great Britain, Canada, Uganda, China.
  • Pool C: Spain, Hong Kong China, Papua New Guinea, Brazil.

The Challenge Ahead

Great Britain and Canada present significant challenges. Both teams have a strong history in rugby sevens and bring considerable experience and tactical acumen to the field. China, while perhaps less storied, cannot be underestimated, as they have shown considerable growth and potential in recent tournaments.

Building on Past Lessons

Reflecting on their performance in Munich, Uganda has identified critical areas for improvement, particularly in defense and consistency. The inclusion of seasoned players like Munyani and Kasito is expected to bolster the team’s defensive strategies and provide the necessary leadership on the field.

Courtesy Photo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *