The Rugby 7s World Cup is nigh and your reigning, defending, back-to-back African Champions, Uganda, will be taking part in the biggest occasion in Sevens rugby.
Uganda made it to the tournament after making the final of the 2017 Africa Rugby 7s Championship. In a tournament hosted in their own backyard, the Uganda Rugby 7s would need late resurgence of Michael Wokorach and quick feet from Kobs utlitiy back, Adrian Kasiito to come from behind and beat Zimbabwe 12-07 in a squeaky bumtie finale.
The Uganda Rugby 7s have been drawn against Samoa in the preliminary round, after which the winner of that match will take on England to determine who will make the Championship of the World Cup. The loser from the preliminary round will be seeded to participate in the Bowl Challenge, while the loser of the round of 16 tie against England will be relegated to the Challenge competition.
Uganda have faced Samoa before, once in the Rugby series in the latter’s debut season on the international HSBC World Series stage, in Dubai. Samoa would win the game 27-19 in the Challenge Trophy quarter Finals but bullish performances from Michael Wokorach and Pius Ogena assured the world that Uganda were not a team to undermine. A 26-19 win over Japan (Uganda’s first ever at this stage) meant that the East Africans would finish in 14th place in their debut season.
New Zealand, who have won the 7s world cup on two occasions are the defending champions and one of the teams to watch, alongside two winners, Fiji, who were crowned champions in 1997 and 2005.
The back-to-back and defending champions of the HSBC World Series, South Africa, who are amongst the teams to beat, are the African representatives alongside Uganda, Kenya and Zimbabwe. Kenya attained their highest ever points tally in HSBC World Series this past season after Simiyu led the Shujaa to 104 points. Zimbabwe qualified for the World Cup owing to their final appearance against Uganda in October 2017, even though they eventually lost to Uganda.
Uganda will miss the services of Lawrence Ssebuliba who broke his arm while on 15s duty against Namibia but Coach Tolber Onyango revels in the wealth in his squad with the likes of Solomon Okia, Phillip Wokorach, Joseph Aredo, Aaron Ofoiwroth, Michael Wokorach all raring to go.
The Rugby 7s World Cup which will take place from 20th to 22nd July, will feature 24 men’s teams and will be played at AT&T Park in San Francisco in knockout format.
Rugby 7s World Cup Preliminary Knockouts:
Match 5 – Samoa 7s Vs Uganda 7s
Time – 00:29am EAT (Saturday, 21st July, 2018)