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Uganda looks to Geoffrey Kimani for inspiration

By Charles Mutebi, Faith Kiai

Added 3rd April 2019 05:15 PM

Kimani worked with the Rugby Cranes in 2007 and he returned four months ago to help Uganda’s quest to qualify for the 2019/2020 World Rugby Sevens Series.

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Rugby national team. PHOTO: Johnson Were

Kimani worked with the Rugby Cranes in 2007 and he returned four months ago to help Uganda’s quest to qualify for the 2019/2020 World Rugby Sevens Series.

 
Hong Kong Sevens Qualifiers
 
Dates: April 4-5
Men: Pool F
Uganda, Germany
Chile, Cook Islands
Women: Pool B
Kenya, PNG, Hong Kong,
Uganda
 
The inability of the Uganda Sevens to reach the next level at the global stage owes in part to the modest physical conditioning of Phillip Wokorach and Co. relative to their competition.
 
Where opponents are capable of holding ground in man-to-man combat, Tolbert Onyango’s troops are easily dragged into defensive double teams, ceding space for easy tries.
 
Past meetings with Germany, who are Uganda’s first opponents at Hong Kong Stadium, have exemplified this challenge best.
 
This is where Geoffrey Kimani comes in. The Kenyan played in a key role in his country’s rise up the sevens ladder and his presence in the Ugandan ranks could have a telling impact at the HSBC Hong Kong Sevens due this weekend.
 
Kimani worked with the Rugby Cranes in 2007 and he returned four months ago to help Uganda’s quest to qualify for the 2019/2020 World Rugby Sevens Series.
 
The qualifying tournament features twelve teams divided into three pools of four teams each. Each team plays all the others in their pool once. The top eight teams (the top two from each group, plus the two best third-place finishers) qualify to the quarterfinals of the knockout round. The winner of the knockout round will win core status in the 2019-20 World Series.
 
Upon his reappointment, Kimani tweeted, “New Country...same challenge...always grateful to the Almighty, Family, #FlyMen, and all the good meaning fans! ...thank you Uganda for the belief...# FlyMenInternational,”
 
Uganda will be represented both by the senior men and women’s team although the latter appears to have the tougher road being ranked last.
 
“This tournament is about gauging ourselves as a team and picking up valuable experience which we will take forward to help us improve,” said women’s coach Helen Buteme.
 
 Men’s squad
P. Ogena, D. Ayera, M. Wokorach, I. Massa, I. Munyani, B. Oketayot, P. Masendi, A. Ofoirwoth, A. Kasito, P. Wokorach, T. Kisiga, and J. Aredo. Head coach; T. Onyango, strength & conditioning coach; G. Kimani, team Manager: Michael Wandera & physio: Noah Kayongo
 
 Women’s squad
C. Mudoola, E. Lekuru, F. Agenorwot, G. Auma, I. Mufuwa, J. Nandawula, M. Ayot, A. Nabulime, P. Lekuru, P. Mirembe, P. Ayero, R. Nadunga. Head coach: H. Buteme, team manager: R. Lunyolo, Physio: P. Namusisi

 

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