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Dubai 7s: Veteran Onyango earns surprise call-up

By Johnson Were

Added 22nd November 2017 02:02 PM

Former National 7s team coach Herbert Wafula backed the decision

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Byron Oketayot (with ball) races through Zambia defence en route to victory in the Africa Rugby Sevens in Kampala last month. The injured Oketayot has been replaced by veteran Timothy Mudoola. Photo by Mpalanyi Ssentongo

Former National 7s team coach Herbert Wafula backed the decision

Rugby Cranes 7s team coach Tolbert Onyango has named 36 year-old Timothy Mudoola on the squad for the HSBC Dubai 7s rugby tournament due next weekend.

Onyango justified naming the 36-year-old centre/lock yesterday saying that he is an asset to the team because he can play as a lock, centre or prop.

“He is an experienced player who can play the positions Byron Oketayot was playing before injury and he has proved his fitness during training,” Onyango said.

“Of course we are grooming players in that position, but at the moment he is the only one suitable for the position,” he added.

Mudoola who previously captained the national 7s team in the 2006 Safari 7s and also Rugby Cranes 15s team retired from the national team in 2008. He briefly returned in 2010 and again retired after the 2014 Confederation of Africa Rugby in Madagascar.

Former National 7s team coach Herbert Wafula backed Onyango’s decision on Mudoola.

“He is an experienced player and an asset on and off pitch so he will be useful to the team even in the dressing room.”

Meanwhile, Alhaji Manano, Adrian Kasiito and Timothy Kisiga are out of the team due to exams while Lawrence Ssebuliba has work commitments.

After the Dubai 7s, the team will head to South Africa for the Cape Town 7s on December 9-10.

The 12-man squad that departs on Monday for Dubai includes Eric Kasiita (capt), James Odongo, Pius Ogena, Kevin Keremundu, Philip Wokorach, Michael Wokorach, Solomon Okia, Joseph Aredo, Aaron Ofoyrwoth, Desire Ayera, James Ijongat and Timothy Mudoola.

Team officials are Tolbert Onyango (coach), Michael Wandera (team manager) and Noah Kayongo (physiotherapist).

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