Uganda’s men’s and women’s rugby sevens teams have stepped up their preparations ahead of the 2019 World Rugby HSBC Hong Kong Sevens from April 5-7.
It will be a key assignment for both squads as they are bidding to qualify as a core team in the World Series next season. The Hong Kong Sevens will also serve as the qualifying event for both the men’s and women’s World Series 2019-2020.
“The teams are training well for this big Sevens event where they will rub shoulders with the big guns in world rugby,” Ramzy Olinga, Uganda Rugby Union Chief Executive, told Xinhua on Wednesday.
The Uganda Rugby Cranes, the men’s team, qualified along with Zimbabwe as the African sides in the World Series qualifiers.
“We played in Hong Kong last year and this time we want to do much better,” said determined Cranes captain Michael Wokorach who also led the team at last year’s Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco.
The other team in the Men’s World Series qualifiers are Ireland, Germany and Russia (from Europe), Hong Kong and Philippines (Asia), Tonga and Cook Islands (Oceania), Chile and Uruguay (South America) and Jamaica. Only the winner books a berth in next season’s World Series.
In the women’s World Series qualifiers, Uganda and Kenya have qualified from Africa or the 12-team tournament. The other teams vying for the solitary berth in next season’s World Series are: Scotland, Belgium and Poland (Europe), Hong Kong, Kazakhstan and Japan (Asia), Papua New Guinea (Oceania), Brazil and Argentina (South America), and Mexico.
“We are looking at the Hong Kong Sevens as a stepping stone to the Africa Sevens and Olympic qualifiers later this year,” Charlotte Mudoola, Uganda women’s team captain said.
Photo caption: Uganda in action at last year’s Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco