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Lady Rugby Cranes depart for South Africa ahead of World Cup qualifiers

The Uganda Lady Rugby Cranes have on Wednesday morning departed for the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup 2019.

The tournament which will also double as the qualifiers of the World Cup 2021 will be played from August 9th-17th, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The team which was also flagged off at Kyadonod Rugby Club on Tuesday consists of 26 players and will be captained by Winnie Atyang.

Speaking before departure, assistant coach Leonard Rwitare explained how the players were picked.

“The camp has been really good and the mood there has been positive, Rwaitare stated.

“The players were picked on skill set, experience and availability.”

At the tournament which starts this Friday, Uganda will tussle it out with three other nations including hosts South Africa, East African rivals Kenya and Madagascar.

Uganda earned their ticket via the basis of the level and frequency of play of the female players.

However, the Lady Rugby Cranes have only played two competitive games in over 5 years, highlighting the gulf between the men’s and women’s game on the continent.

The Lady Rugby Cranes have played only two competitive matches in the last 5 years or so.

Uganda’s two build-up games came against Kenya in the Elgon Cup, which they lost 19-79 over two legs.

Rwitare narrates that the Elgon Cup result is a wrong litmus paper to judge the Lady Cranes charges but better still they benefited the most from it.

“We achieved from the Elgon Cup despite the result not going our way.

“The team was exposed to what is ahead of them.

“We can now beat Kenya in a main tournament.  Rwitare added.”

The Rugby Africa Women’s Cup will be played on round-robin format and the winner will qualify directly for the World Cup while the runners up will play a match against a selected team from South America and join the global repechage tournament if victorious.

On Friday, Uganda will play their first game against hosts South Africa, then face Kenya on Tuesday and wrap up the tournament against Madagascar next Saturday.

The Lady Rugby Cranes team

Faith Namugga Nakato

-Irene Nzige

-Evelyn Aweku

-Christine Nakayiza

-Yvonne Najjuma

-Peace Mirembe

-Charity Atimango

-Helen Gizamba

-Teddy Iwutung

-Beatrice Atim Lamunu

-Winnie Atyang (C)

-Mary Gloria Ayot

-Loy Mbabazi

-Harriet Kayojo

-Claire Anena

-Rosenburg Kayonyozi

-Christine Nakamya

-Asha Nakityo Nambulime

-Peace Lekuru

-Julie Nandawula

-Joan Andika

-Emmanuella Oroma

-Agnes Nakuya

-Saamiya Ayikuro

-Esther Tino

-Mary Koita

The tournament fixtures

Friday, August 9

-Madagascar vs Kenya

-South Africa vs Uganda

Tuesday, August 13

-Kenya vs Uganda

-Madagascar vs South Africa

Saturday, August 17

-Madagascar vs Uganda

-South Africa vs Kenya

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