Munich Challenger 2024 squad a glimpse of Uganda Men’s 7s future

Uganda Men are participating in the 7s Challenger Series finale in Munich, Germany, with a new generation of players, as they look to build the foundations of their future in the world of Rugby Sevens. The post Munich Challenger 2024 squad a glimpse of Uganda Men’s 7s future appeared first on Kawowo Sports.

Munich Challenger 2024 squad a glimpse of Uganda Men’s 7s future

2014. The last time Uganda Men played a major 7s tournament without either Philip Wokorach, Adrian Kasito, or Aaron Ofoyrwoth. Pius Ogena and Denis Etwau, who have swung in and out of the squad, are among the most experienced players on the larger training squad. When you add ex-captain Michael Wokorach to this list, it is extremely difficult to recall Uganda 7s at a tournament without at least one of them.

Ten years later, many other players have come and gone but the squad has largely stayed the same. The mainstays, like Timothy Kisiga, Nobert Okeny, Desire Ayera, Isaac Massanganzira, and now-captain Ian Munyani have matured from boys to men, and some have even become household names both locally and internationally.

Uganda Men lift 2022 Africa 7s title at home

Success, depending on how you define it, has been realised. They have won three Rugby Africa Men’s 7s titles and most recently, a gold medal at Rugby 7s’ inaugural appearance during the African Games. They have also made it to the Rugby World Cup 7s, the Commonwealth Games, the Olympic Games Repechage, and have occasionally been invited to the 7s World Series.

But talented as this generation of players may be, they have failed to take Uganda to the World Series and the Olympic Games. The competition has become tougher each passing year and they are not getting any younger. It would also be foolhardy to assume that they will be available for national duty forever. So, inevitably, Uganda has started to look for inspiration elsewhere.

That is why the timing of the 7s Challenger Series finale in Munich, Germany this weekend couldn’t have been any better. Uganda sits in a miserable eighth place in the overall series standings after two rounds, having played with a full-strength and experienced squad at both events in Dubai and Montevideo. There is no realistic chance of making the top four cut for the Final Qualification Tournament and there is no threat of relegation.

So, head coach Tolbert Onyango has put his faith in a new generation of players for Munich. Although they have all represented Uganda before, five will be making their first appearance at the 7s Challenger Series this year.

Etwau, Okeny, Alex Aturinda, and the new captain William Nkore have been around long enough to know their way around but the rest of the squad will be in uncharted territory.

Munich, the final round of the 2024 series, will not be rosy, of course. It might even get ugly because they have been sent where their seniors have failed.

But on the flip side, it is a blank cheque for the likes of Aaron Tukei, Roy Kizito, Davis Shimwa, and Karim Arinaitwe to drive Uganda 7s into a new age. Plus Allan Olango, Mark Osuna, and Mubarak Wandera to be the wedge that stops it from rolling backwards.

As Team Uganda, they will all be tested against the best in their class and will also get a feel of what is required to succeed at that level or even higher.

Now, whether our future in the world of Rugby Sevens is bright or bleak is a discussion for another day. What’s most likely is that Munich will be the cornerstone around which the foundations of that future is going to be built.

The post Munich Challenger 2024 squad a glimpse of Uganda Men’s 7s future appeared first on Kawowo Sports.