Warriors feel the heat as tour looms
Posted Thursday, May 24 2012 at 17:42
East Africa select side Elgon Warriors, may have just one day of training before facing touring England Counties in the first of their two-Test series on June 9 in Kampala.
Speaking for the first time since his appointment, Warriors coach Ham Onsando said the team will face a big challenge of assembling for the first Test due to the tight domestic programme.
The ongoing Bamburi Super Series, that features the best players in East Africa, ends on June 2, just three days before the English tourists play Uganda in Mbale.
The English Counties and Elgon Warriors will then clash four days later on June 9 in Kampala.
“I have a problem here. There is little time to assemble and train the squad. We may have to do a Barbarian for the match, meet on Thursday and work out a game plan,” Onsando said.
In contrast, the England Counties will assemble on June 1 and will have over a week to fine-tune for the first meeting with the East Africa combined side.
Onsando was, however, optimistic of a good showing from the combined side against the established visitors.
“A combined Kenya and Uganda side has the potential of bringing the three Ps – power, pace and precision – together.
“The Ugandans have pace and power and Kenya has flair. If the team gels well and gets the precision, we will produce some great rugby and have some good games on our hands,” Onsando said.
He acknowledged the potency of the tourists. “Counties rugby is a very strong culture in the English game. Some of their upcoming players may end up in Premiership rugby. The have experienced players and are very competitive,” he said.
Onsando said his team’s advantage was being an unknown entity to the Counties who have also never played in this part of the world.
Onsando brings a wealth of experience to the team. He coached Kenya Sevens, Kenya 15s and Kenya Harlequins in the 1990s.
Recently, he coached Uganda after serving as an assistant to Chester Williams.
He has also coached Kenya Harlequin and Uganda side Entebbe Mongrels together with Bamburi Super Series outfits Rhinos and Rwenzori.