Uganda Rugby Cranes, winners of Africa Rugby Championship, retained the trophy on 7 October, 2017 after beating Zimbabwe 10-7 to qualify for next year’s World Cup in San Francisco and the upcoming Commonwealth games to be played in Australia. Ugandans and rugby lovers, although excited with the historic achievement, have frowned at disappearance of three team players in faraway Germany.
Ramathan Govule, Brian Kikaawa and Fred Odur were listed as missing team players in a similar incident which occurred in Glasgow, Switzerland during the 2014 Commonwealth Games when two Ugandan players also “undermined” immigration laws.
According to local media reports, the trio went underground from their hotel rooms penultimate Tuesday and were unavailable for departure at the airport.
The team’s visit to Germany was on invitation. Uganda’s Rugby Cranes finished 10th in the 3-day tournament tagged Oktoberfest Sevens. The competitions among twelve countries provided them a chance to train for their Africa Rugby Championship which they won last year.
Rugby has gone mainstream in Uganda, and citizens are already dreaming of world cup glory.
Tolbert Onyango, coach for the Uganadan team spoke with reporters after their victory saying, ‘It’s very fortunate that we didn’t lose a match throughout the games. My players showed maturity; they have what it takes to play at the high level as professionals.’
He continued, ‘I’m very happy that we retained the trophy. Qualifying for the World Cup and Commonwealth Games are invaluable achievements.’
Uganda, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mauritius, Tunisia, Morocco, Ghana, Botswana, Senegal and Madagascar competed for glory in this year’s continental tournament.