The Uganda Rugby Cranes will be playing the Kenyan Simbas today in Nairobi for each of the nations’ first tie in this year’s Rugby Africa Gold Cup. That is not all, there is more sentiment attached to this specific tie; it doubles as the Elgon Cup return leg.

The Kenyans already have a 5 point cushion going into this fixture having siphoned a win out of a tough encounter in Kampala earlier in the month, winning 23-18 at Legends Rugby grounds. Darwin Mukidza’s boot was the main undertaker for the Cranes.

Owing to the exhibitions of the first leg and the country’s ambitions to progress and stage a respectable fight, Coach Duncan has picked a 27-man team to travel with him to Kenya and put a few things right. Returning and formerly injured winger, Justin Kimono has been retained and is part of this extended squad from which the coach is expected to pick a 23-man squad for the duel against Kenya on 24th June, 2017 at RFUEA Grounds.

Aaron Ofoiwroth is a notable omission from the squad having just recently made his debut for the Cranes, and in his place, looks to come Kevin Makmot to hold down the fort. Kevin has a number of international tests with the Cranes under his belt and it is this kind of experience that the Coaching staff have gone with to help bolster their chances against the charges of the Simbas.

The Cranes and Simbas prepare to lock into a scrumdown in the earlier fixture in Kampala

Chris “Opa” Lubanga is a surprise omission for the second international test in a row given the near perfect season he has had with Hima Cement Heathens. Chris did not even make the bench when the Kenyans were visitors in Kampala. Another omission seems to have come in the backline as well with utility back, Eric Mulla set to stay the country and miss the trip to Kenya. Mulla only came from the bench in the game against this weekend’s opponents in Kampala and has been relieved of any participatory duties this afternoon..

Added into Coach Duncan’s troops are Shell Rimula Rhinos halfback Kevin Makmot, the ever-green Gerald Ssewankambo, Hima Cement Heathens bulldozers Santos Ssenteza and Cox Muhigwa, Joseph Tamale and Kenya based forward, Ronald Musajja who turns out for the Harlequins.

Uganda Rugby Cranes squad squaring off against Kenya:

Forwards: Asuman Mugerwa, Alex Mubiru, Brian Odong, Cyrus Wathum, Collins Kimbowa, Adnan Mutebi, Santos Ssentongo, Joseph Tamale, Robert Aziku, Charles Uhuru, Byron Oketayot, Musa Muwonge, Cox Muhigwa, Brian Asaba, Scott Oluoch, Marvin Odong, , Musajja Ronald.

Backs: Ivan Kirabo, Kevin Makmot, Ivan Magomu, James Odong, Pius Ogena, Gerald Ssewankambo, Michael Wokorach, Lawrence Ssebuliba, Phillip Wokorach, Justin Kimono.