Uganda Cranes Head Coach Fred Mudoola has named his final squad that will travel to France for the Rugby World Cup qualifiers scheduled for 1 to 10 July in Marseille and Aix-en-Provence.
The coach has trimmed the squad to 28 with French-based star Philip Wokorach being included. The majority of the players who featured in the Rugby Africa Men’s 7s have been left out of the 15s squad.
The squad has Kabras RFC forward Asuman Mugerwa, Kenya Harlequin’s Mark Omoding, captain Ivan Magomu, Eliphaz Emong, Pius Ogena, Joachim Chisano and Charles Uhuru.
Joseph Aredo, Solomon Okia, Scott Oluoch, Conrad Wanyama are also part of the squad. Uganda have been paired against Kenya Simbas in the Cup quarters.
The tournament will be held at Stade Maurice-David in Aix-en-Provence and Stade Pierre-Delort in Marseille, which hosted the RWC 2019 Final Qualification Tournament.
The winner of the eight-team knockout competition will book a return to France 14 months later as Africa 1 at RWC 2023. The Africa 1 qualifier has been drawn in Pool A alongside New Zealand, hosts France, Italy and Uruguay.
Whoever finishes as runners-up following the much-anticipated Rugby Africa Cup 2022 final on 10 July will still have a chance of qualifying for RWC 2023 through the Final Qualification Tournament.
Following the Rugby Africa Cup Repechage 2021, the Rugby Africa Cup pool stage was held in July, 2021 and determined the eight teams who make up the quarter-final line-up in France.
Namibia, who are bidding to reach a seventh successive Rugby World Cup, Senegal, Uganda and Zimbabwe qualified for the quarter-finals as pool winners.
They have been joined in the last eight by pool runners-up Burkina Faso, Algeria, Kenya Simbas and Ivory Coast.
Burkina Faso, the lowest competing nation on the World Rugby Men’s Rankings at 91, will take on Namibia, while Senegal play Algeria, Uganda face Kenya and Zimbabwe are scheduled to meet Ivory Coast between 1-2 July.
The winner of the quarter-final between Namibia and Burkina Faso will meet either Zimbabwe or Ivory Coast – who have appeared at three Rugby World Cups between them – in the semi-finals.
Either Senegal or Algeria will then play the winner of the quarter-final between Uganda and East Africa rivals Kenya for a place in the final.
A bronze final, as well as fifth-place and seventh-place play-offs, will be held on 10 July prior to the final, in which Africa’s representative at RWC 2023 will be decided.
Selected Uganda Rugby Cranes XV team:
Robert Aziku (KOBs)
Emong Eliphaz (Jinja Hippos)
Paul Epillo (Heathens)
Thomas Gwokto (Heathens)
Joseph Aredo (KOBs)
Ronald Kanyanya (Heathens)
Collin Kimbowa (KOcBs)
Akera Komakech (Heathens)
Ivan Magomu (Stanbic Black Pirates)
Alhaji Manano (KOBs)
Asuman Mugerwa (Kabras)
James Mugisha (Stanbic Black Pirates)
Jacob Ochen (Jinja Hippos)
Uhuru Charles (Heathens)
Timothy Odong (Stanbic Black Pirates)
Faraj Odugo (KOBs)
Pius Ogena (KOBs)
Solomon Okia (Stanbic Black Pirates)
Joaquim Chisano (Heathens)
Scott Olwoch (Heathens)
Mark Omoding (Kenya Harlequins)
Michael Otto (KOBs)
Joseph Oyet (Heathens)
Alema Ruhweza (Stanbic Black Pirates)
Lawrence Ssebuliba (Heathens)
Santos Ssenteza (Heathens)
Conrad Wanyama (Stanbic Black Pirates)
Philip Wokorach (AS Bédarrides – Châteauneuf-du-Pape)