The tournament offers one nation the ultimate ticket to the lucrative HBSC world series. 12 men’s teams representing all six World Rugby regions will compete over three days at Estadio Santa Laura, Chile.
Philip Wokorach scores hattrick as Uganda gets dream start in Chile
Uganda Rugby Sevens got off to a flying start in the men’s World Rugby Sevens Challenger series in Chile.
The tournament winners will achieve core status on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023.
Pitted against Germany, Uruguay and Lithuania, Uganda faces a tough task to take it to the lucrative tournament that has eluded the side in earlier qualifiers.
After an impressive outing at the Commonwealth Games, the African champions are having yet another share of international rugby spotlight in Chile. The team got off to a dream start with Philip Wokorach leading by example.
Wokorach netted a hattrick of tries as Uganda beat South American nation Uruguay 26-12. Vice-captain Ian Munyani and Wokorach guided the team to a perfect start.
Prior to the match, in an interview with World Rugby, Rugby Sevens coach Tolbert Onyango intimated that the tournament would open doors for local talents back home should Uganda progress to the world series.
“[It would] show them that even if you pick up the sport locally you can go and play internationally and be recognized for your efforts,” he said.
Captain Michael Wokorach said that the team have been waiting for the opportunity for a long time and in the long run would open doors for bigger resource envelope towards the development of the sport.
“The mood in the camp is good and the players are ready. It is a tournament we have been looking forward to for a long time as we’ve been knocking on the door to get in to the Series. If we win this weekend it would be a game changer for Uganda rugby as it would open more doors for funding,” Wokorach said to World Rugby.
Uganda group opponents Germany beat Lithuania, 21-10, in their first match. The second match will be at 12:39 EAT against Germany.
Update: Uganda fell 14-17 against Germany with tries from Aaron Ofoyrowth and Timothy Kisiga.
Uganda team in Chile
Isaac Massanganzira, Michael Wokorach, Ian Munyani, Aaron Ofoywroth, Adrian Kasito, Timothy Kisiga, Philip Wokorach, Alex Aturinda, William Nkore, Nobert Okeny, Claude Ivan Otema, Karim Arinaitwe.