Veterans Alex Mubiru and Mathias Ochwo might be former Rugby Cranes captains but the current skipper Brian Odongo commands as much respect.
While the pair are African champions from 2007, Odongo, who got his national team debut nine years ago, has experienced the lows and mini-highs of Ugandan rugby.
The biggest trough of those came in 2014 in Tunisia when Senegal beat Uganda 32-31 in an Africa Cup 1B playoff.
Odongo was part of that side as Uganda was temporarily relegated to Division 1C only for Rugby Afrique to review their tournaments. Consequently, Uganda stayed in 1B.
“I recall that day. It was hard to take,” prop Odongo reminisced. He is one of eight survivors from the side the West Africans beat on June 14, 2014. “This is a new page for everyone,” he added.
“We are looking at it as a new challenge. “(We are) not looking at the past,” Odongo stated.
While many sportsmen will often deny it, there is theme of revenge when Uganda face Senegal in their Dakar backyard in the Africa Gold Cup tomorrow.
There are seven other survivors from that dreadful game among whom is prop Asuman Mugerwa, lock Ochwo, eighth man Marvin Odongo and centre Michael Wokorach.
Others are replacement hooker Cyrus Wathum, back rower Brian Asaba, scrumhalf Ivan Markmot and wing Justin Kimono.
“Yes there will be revenge somehow on our minds,” coach Robert Seguya warned. Uganda started the inaugural Africa Gold Cup with a 33-all draw away to Kenya.
On the other hand, Senegal, the bulk of whom play in lower division leagues in France, lost 28-16 to Zimbabwe at home.
The bottom side in the six-team competition will be relegated to the 2018 ‘Silver Cup’ while the other five will fight for places at the 2019 Rugby World Cup next year.
RUGBY CRANES TEAM LIST TO FEATURE AGAINST SENEGAL.
- Asuman Mugerwa
- Alex Mubiru
- Brian Odongo
- Uhuru Charles
- Mathis Ochwo
- Asaba Brian
- Ronald Musajja
- Marvin Odong
- Kirabo Ivan
- Magomu Ivan
- Odong James.
- Ogena Pius
- Okorach Michael
- Lawrence Sebuliba
- Phillip Wokorach
- Adnan Mutebi
- Kimbowa Collins
- Oketayot Byron
- Musa Mwonge
- Makmot Kevin
- Sewankambo GeraldJustin Kimono.
- Justin Kimono.