Uganda lady Rugby Cranes 7s coach Hellen Koyokoyo Buteme has named a team of 12 that will make the trip to Hongkong for this year’s edition of the HongKong sevens slated for next month.
It will be a debut at this stage for all but one of the 12 trusted ladies.
Team captain Thereza Mudoola is the only member on the team that was part of the special class of 2009 that featured at the inaugural Women’s sevens world cup in Dubai.
This will be the first major tournament for the girls team since then.
Despite being new to the stage, the core of the selected 12 has played together for some time now, with Black Pearls’ Proscovia Ayero the only new face on Buteme’s final squad.
Ayero is one of the five Black Pearls players to make Buteme’s cut.
The coach revealed to NilePost how hard a decision it was to trim the squad after months of intensive training with the girls.
“This has been one of the toughest decisions I have ever had to make, telling some of the players that I have been working with that they should now go home but then I can only take 12 players,” said the tactician.
She further explained the rationale behind the selections she made;
“I followed the gym statistics and the on pitch play, I have chosen the best of the pool of players I had. I have also however looked at experience because you cannot rule out experience when it comes to selection.”
The Hongkong sevens tournament is set for the 4th to 5th April and Uganda will have to battle out of a tough pool B that has hosts HongKong, perennial Hongkong competitors Kenya, and Papau New Guinea.
Meanwhile, the men’s team was also supposed to be named today but was postponed due to yet to be known reasons.
Their trip to Zimbabwe has also been called off due to technical and logistical reasons.
Rugby Union President Andrew Owor explained further to the Nile Post what guided their decision to cancel the Zimbabwe friendlies.
“As per yesterday (15th March 2019) we decided to call of the Zimbabwe trip because of the players’ welfare. The travel conditions were not good and the timing was off. We already have one or two injuries in camp and wouldn’t want to risk any more injuries” said Owor
LADY CRANES FINAL SQUAD
1. Charlotte Thereza Mudoola (Black Panthers)
2. Emilly Lekuru (Black Pearls)
3. Flavia Agenorwot (Black Pearls)
4. Grace Auma (Black Pearls)
5. Immaculate Mufuwa (Black Pearls)
6. Juliet Nandawula (Entebbe Ladies)
7. Mary Gloria Ayot (Black Pearls)
8. Nakityo Aisha Nabulime (Thunderbirds)
9. Peace Lekuru (Entebbe Ladies)
10. Peace Mirembe (Black Panthers)
11. Proscovia Ayero (Black Pearls)*
12. Ritta Nadunga (Black Panthers)
Head Coach: Helen Koyokoyo Buteme
Team Manager: Regina Hellen Okoit Lunyolo
Physiotherapist: Prossy Namusisi