ONE would expect a top African rugby team to be comprised of professional players. However, new African champions, the Rugby Cranes are a collection of guys from different professions who play rugby for leisure.
The Cranesâ€™ squad that won the Confederation of Africa Rugby (CAR) Cup in Madagascar recently, reads like a who-is-who in Kampalaâ€™s corporate world. Douglas Mazune profiles the team
Joel Onguyo is a towering 19-year-old Flanker/lock is an information technology student at Makerere University. Heâ€™s full of promise on the pitch and very social man.
Moses Soita made a mark on the sports scene as a player for Falcons basketball team five years ago. He was a second rate basketball player. Then he switched to rugby where he became an instant star. Today, he is one of the Piratesâ€™ dependable players. He is an accountant with G4 Security, the company that sponsors Pirates Rugby Club.
Fred Mudoola vice captain is pursuing a Bachelor of Business degree at Makerere University Business School. After lectures he strolls down to Kampala Club for training. He is also coach for Namilyango College.
Adrian Bukenya, 29, chemical enginner and team captain works with Shell as a Lubricants Demand Planner for West Africa. A towering and influential figure who plays No.8, excited many in 2005 when he rejoined utl Kobs after completing an MBA at Oxford University. Bukenyaâ€™s job involves a lot of travel, but he does not miss training whenever he is in the country. In office by 8:00am, he finsihes in time for the 5:00pm training session. On week days, he retires home early. Over the weekend, he socialises with â€˜the boysâ€™ at Kyandondo and Kampala rugby clubs. To him rugby is a way of life.
Alex Mubiru is a trainee with Toyota Uganda. He is one of six players who missed their graduation ceremonies at Makerere University when the Cranes were in Madagascar.
Victor Wodia as a no-nonsense Lock, is a humble man with a broad smile on a typical working day at the utl customer care department. Teammates say it is very hard to annoy him.
Bonny Morro, a winger is a student at Nkumba University. He Plays for Cente Rhinos.
Mathias Ochwo is the muscular flanker who gave Namibia a torrid time at Kampala Club in the run-up to the African championship. The 2005 Most Valuable Player is one of the most dedicated players in Uganda. He once played semi-professional rugby in South Africa. He is a researcher with BMS Minerals. Ochwo is currently pursuing a Masters in Quantitative Economics at Makerere.
Kenneth Mutabaruka is a lawyer who started legal practice recently. He is soft spoken, but very strong on the pitch.
Anthony Kinene, the pint-size former URA soccer player is a Civil Engineering student at Kyambogo University. He has one of the most stable love affairs in rugby circles. â€œWe are just waiting for the Kwanjula in the near future,â€ a teammate commented. He confided in an official that he quit soccer because people still believed in witchcraft. He wanted a scientific approach to sports. He is the most capped Ugandan on the 7s International Rugby Board circuit.
Edmund Tumusiime is the reigning Most Valuable Player. He is a Telecommunications Engineering student at Makerere University. A tight academic schedule sometimes keeps him out of the squad. His dummy passes have endeared him to many a rugby fan. He is the most gifted player in Uganda. He joined the national 7s team in 2004 when he was in Senior Six.
Ronald Mwisaka works in the marketing department of Posta Uganda. He is quite reserved.
Ronald Adigasi is an accountant by profession and a father of two. Adigasi is a big force behind the Mongers club.
Who are the guys in the Rugby Cranes?