The Road to Japan 2019 starts this weekend for Uganda as they visit reigning and defending Gold Cup champions, Namibia in Windhoek.
The overall winner of the Gold Cup this year will automatically qualify for Rugby World Cup in Japan next year.
The Rugby Cranes head John Coach Duncan, has named one fresh face in black Pirate’s Conrad Wanyama who will be walking out for his debut, while dropping six from the Elgon Cup loss against Kenya in Kampala last Month.
Pajob Edgar, Bwambale Nathan, Ivan Kirabo, Phillip Wokorach, Marvin Odong, Simon Olet and Ivan Magomu have had to make way for Charles Uhuru, Collins Kimbowa, Lawrence Ssebuliba, James Ijongat, Conrad Wanyama, Arthur Mukama and Joseph Tamale in the team to play Namibia.
Uganda have met with Namibia four times, losing three and winning just once. The win against Namibia is still famous amongst Rugby faithful in Kampala as Uganda mounted a comeback in 2007 to beat Namibia 20-19 thanks to tries from Allan Musoke, Simon Wakabi and Adrian Bukenya on the road to winning the CAR Championship. The Cranes lost to Namibia 48-27 last year in Kampala leaking in 7 tries, 5 conversions and a penalty.
Namibia Rugby head coach Phil Davies announced Tuesday that he has secured the services of his best players for the upcoming Gold Cup campaign, which will kick off here on June 16.
Namibia’s first test is against the “Cranes” of Uganda followed by a game against Tunisia on June 23 in Windhoek as well.
Davies in a statement said the Namibian squad is well-balanced between experience and youth and he is excited about his team’s chances of clinching their sixth consecutive Rugby Africa title.
“We believe that home-based Namibian players provide the heartbeat of the national team, therefore we have implemented a plan in our national academy to increase the number of quality home-based players participating in the Super Sport Rugby Challenge and the Currie Cup competitions has been a huge help in this development,” he added.
Davies believes that this round of rugby will be Namibia’s toughest World Cup qualifying group of matches in the past ten years.
“Despite the hefty challenge we are confident that we have developed and assembled a very strong squad with the relevant talent, mental strength and depth to meet those challenges,” Davies said.
Namibia’s first away game will be against Morocco on June 30 followed by the Zimbabwe game set for Bulawayo on August 4. Their final game will be against Kenya in Windhoek on August 18.
The tournament gathers the six best teams of all African Rugby Unions. The 2018 edition of the Rugby Africa Gold Cup will be played in a league format with 15 home or away matches.
Saturday, 16th June, 2018
Venue – Hage Geingob Stadium
Namibia – Uganda (1630 HRS EAT)
NAM (on 58.93 points) at home -vs- UGA (on 49.27 points)
RR WORLD RANKINGS (Points Available)
|Possible Outcome||Rating Point
|If NAM win by 1-15 points||0.000||58.93||49.27||No|
|If NAM win by more than 15||0.000||58.93||49.27||No|
|If result is a draw||1.000||57.93||50.27||No|
|If UGA win by 1-15 points||2.000||56.93||51.27||No|
|If UGA win by more than 15||3.000||55.93||52.27||No|
Rugby Cranes team to play Namibia:
1. Asuman Mugerwa(C) 2. Paul Ssekatte 3. Saul Kivumbi 4. Charles Uhuru 5. Eliphaz Emong 6. Oketayot Byron 7. Brian Asaba 8. Arthur Mukama 9. Aaron ofoiwroth 10. James Ijongat 11. James Odong 12. Pius Ogena 13. Ian Munyani 14. Justin Kimono(VC) 15. Adrian Kasiito
16. Joseph Tamale 17. Collins Kimbowa 18. Adnan Mutebi 19. Robert Aziku 20. Musa Muwonge 21. Conrad Wanyama 22. Eric Mula 23. Lawrence Ssebuliba
Namibia: (still to Locate)
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Uganda Rugby Union.
Pan-African broadcast network Kwese TV (http://Kwese.ESPN.com) is bringing the Rugby Africa Gold Cup 2018 live and exclusive on Kwesé Free Sports, Kwesé Sports 1, the newly launched Kwesé Iflix and Facebook Live from 16 June to 18 August. As the exclusive rights-holder for both TV and all digital platforms, Kwesé TV will be using local facility houses to deliver excellent and seamless coverage of the tournament.
2017 Gold Cup teams Uganda, Namibia, Tunisia, Kenya and Zimbabwe will be joined by Silver Cup winner Morocco to fight for their chance at lifting the 2018 title trophy and an opportunity to accompany South Africa to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
“We are using local facilities to bring African Rugby fans the best broadcast of their favourite game. This is one of many ways Kwesé TV is showcasing its commitment to investing in and empowering local talent”, said Jeroen Oerlemans CEO Kwesé Sports.
“The excitement, support and suspence that surrounds the Rugby Africa Gold Cup keeps growing every year and we plan to ensure fans do not miss a second of the action throughout all 15 matches”, he added.
The first game of the tournament on Saturday June 16 will kick off at 13:30 CAT between host country Zimbabwe and visitor Morocco. Followed by defending champions Namibia hosting Uganda at 15:30 CAT. Fans can catch both games LIVE on Kwesé Sports 1.
Rugby Africa Gold Cup
Saturday 16 June 2018
Zimbabwe v Morocco – Harare
Namibia v Uganda – Windhoek
Saturday 23 June 2018
Namibia v Tunisia – Windhoek
Morocco v Kenya – Casablanca
Saturday 30 June 2018
Kenya v Zimbabwe – Nairobi
Morocco v Namibia – Casablanca
Saturday 7 July 2018
Kenya v Uganda – Nairobi
Tunisia v Zimbabwe – Monastir
Saturday 4 August 2018
Zimbabwe v Namibia – Bulawayo
Uganda v Tunisia – Kampala
Saturday 11 August 2018
Kenya v Tunisia – Nairobi
Uganda v Morocco – Kampala
Saturday 18 August 2018
Namibia v Kenya – Windhoek
Uganda v Zimbabwe – Kampala
Tunisia v Morocco – Monastir