Betway Kobs have beefed up their squad ahead of the start of the 2021 Nile Special Stout Rugby Premiership due March 6.
The 12-time league winners made the unveiling on Wednesday morning at Lugogo House (Betway offices) under the stewardship of club vice chairperson Isaac Lutwama.
There are new additions including two youngsters promoted from the youth system – Boks. These are Hooker Trevor Maina and loose forward Humphrey Olaunah.
Robert Masendi and Michael Oto joins from rivals Heathens while Brian Ochan (Pirates), Byron Oketayot (Loose Forward), Arthur Mpande (Rhinos), James Odong (Nondies), Brian Ochan (Pirates) and Saul Kivumbi (Impala).
“The new recruits are just an injection of new blood into the system, since we last won the league in 2016, its been a challenge to return to the summit of Uganda Rugby,” said Lutwama.
“We have won the Uganda Cup and Sevens in between but for us the league is very paramount, so we think these new additions will add to the squad and bolster it in our aim to win the league.”
Last year, the season was ended prematurely due to Covid19 and later the Union (URU) awarded the title to Heathens, their 15th championship.
Heathens led the log with 63 points, five above second-placed Betway Kobs after 13 of 18 games played then.
With the new recruits, Lutwama is confident that he has enough in the armoury to gun down the competitors.
Explaining the choice of the recruits, he stated: “We have looked at different positions, we know that we lost two vital players in the last campaign – one was injured, and also the loss of a key player like Brian Odong, almost four years ago has not seen us gain a player and a dominant player and a top forward.
“To go for a player like Kivumbi (Saul) was very key and also strengthen our lock division and our back row, we know that it will help our pack from how they have been doing previously, so allow us employ different strategies for different teams.”
With the league set to be played under one leg round robin, Lutwama added that the title race is wide open but optimistic that this is the year for the Kobs fraternity.
He commended the Club Sponsor Betway and Media for continued support.
Kobs, who last won the title in 2016, face Rhinos in their league opener at Legends Rugby ground at 4pm.
The new players;
- Byron Oketayot (Loose Forward) – Rhinos
- James Odongo (Wing/Fullback) – Nindies
- Arthur Mpande (Lock) – Rhinos
- Michael Otto (Lock) – Heathens
- Brian Ochan (Scrum Half) – Pirates
- Robert Masendi (Fly Half/ Scrum Half)
- Saul Kivumbi (Prop) – Impala
- Trevor Maina (Hooker) – Boks
- Humphrey Olaunah (Lock/Loose Forward) – Boks