It was a year to forget, but Shell Rimula Rhinos are not about to cry over spilled milk as they look to open a new chapter ahead of the 2019-2020 rugby season calendar.
Rhinos, the 2018 Premiership runners, had a 2019 season to forget having lost a bevy of stars including Scott Oluoch, Kevin Makmot, Oduka, Saul Kivumbi, Mathias Ochwo coupled with the failure to go far in the Uganda Cup, when they fell to Toyota Buffaloes in the Cup quarters. The Premiership wasn’t a better story either with the squad recording many losses and on a number of occasions failing to assemble a full matchday 23. Coach John Musoke called it quits with the team amidst all the chaos. The 7s calendar was another time to forget with Rinos possibly looking relegation from Core status straight in the eye.
Our sources, reliable as ever, confirmed last night that Rhinos top management is in progressive meeting with Vivo Energy to extend their relationship with the team under the Shell Rimula brand and are looking to secure the Rhinos a bumper financial boost in the region of UGX 400M ahead of the 2019-2020 season campaign.
If or when this is realized, the team is looking at a structure that will allow them to cater to a junior team, one that will be able to feed the senior team. There is also room for a quick return to the more desirable half of the competition with a number of buys to help them get there. They have a very huge shopping list, looking to get at least 85 percent of the entire list if they are to challenge again. This list will see them go to Kenya and bring back a number of Ugandans namely Philip Wokorach, Asuman Mugerwa and Eliphaz Emong from the Kabras Sugar franchise, Daudi Semwami from Kenya Harlequins, Saul Kivumbi from Impala Saracens and James Odongo from Nondescript. These, plus local prospects like Paul Epillo from Hima Cement Heathens and Phillip “Chiggas” Muhoozi and Boboney Blair from DusuPay Warriors, inclusive of Kevin Makmot as a coach.
The club is looking to join the rest of the Ugandan rugby community in the surge towards semi-pro rugby and professional in the end. With all this, will come special packages to make better the fans’ experience.
The Rhinos have been in this position before, buying expensively to brighten their options of a title challenge and if this comes to pass, it will be a question of if they learned from their past mistakes.
Watch Rhinos Highlights: Shell Rimula Rhinos 64-05 Walukuba Barbarians