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Kenya & Uganda set for battle

We look ahead to this weekend's to the first game in the ninth Elgon Cup, in Nairobi.

The Elgon Cup, named after a mountain shared by Uganda and Kenya, is two-leg annual competition for both the women and men's XVs teams. First competed for by the women's teams in 2006 this will be the ninth time they will have met.

Kenya are the holders of the women's title, having won it over the two legs last year and the two sides play off this weekend in Nairobi before the second leg the following weekend in Kampala

While this annual test series is at 15 a-side, it is in sevens that both countries may be focusing their attention on in the coming years given there is no opportunity for either of the sides to qualify for the 2017 World Cup, with South Africa having been handed the continent's spot automatically. In 2013 the tournament was also an eliminator for the World Cup, with the winner playing off against South Africa. World Rugby have announced that this will not be the case for 2017 and are encouraging the two Unions to develop strong club leagues as a pre-requist for their inclusion in future world cup qualification processes.

This is having a positive effect, encouraging a much stronger focus from both unions in promoting their domestic women's game instead of putting all of the effort into just a national team.

Uganda, also known as the Lady Cranes, feature seven new faces this weekend.

Brenda Kayiyi from Black Panthers in Kampala is the captain. The new players are Scovia Aketo from Gulu She Elephants, Peace Mirembe (Entebbe Sharks), Samiya Ayikoru (Thunderbirds), Peace Wokorach (Walukuba Titans, Jinja), Gilder Azikuru, Grace Auma (Walukuba Titans, Jinja) and Hilda Nyiraguhirwa (Entebbe Sharks).

Kenya would normally be the favourites, but they have undergone some major changes to the structure of their team and as a result they too feature new faces with Head Coach Kevin Wambua naming seven debutantes in the "Lionesses" squad for their title defence.

Kenya: 1. Emily Adero - Kenya Harlequin* 2. Rosehilda Kamanga - Mwamba 3. Emily Achieng Oloo - Mwamba 4.Racheal Adhiambo - Kenya Harlequin 5. Millicent Opala - KCB 6. Sheila Chajiga - Kenya Harlequin 7. Evelyn Odera - KCB 8. Camyline Oyuayo - Mwamba/Captain 9. Lydia Shikanda - Kenya Harlequin* 10. Kate Abila - Mwamba/Vice Captain 11. Linet Moraa -Kenya Harlequin 12. Philadelphia Olando - KCB 13. Janet Awuor - Mwamba 14. Sinaida Aura - Mwamba* 15. Janet Akello - KCB 16. Keziah Achieng - Kenya Harlequin 17. Janet Midecha - KCB 18. Imogen Emily Hooper -KCB* 19. Dorcas Ocholi - KCB 20. Clementine Atieno - KCB 21. Cynthia Camila - Kenya Harlequin* 22. Sophie Ayieka - Nakuru* 23. Jordan Weaver – USIU*

Uganda: Forwards: Irene Nzigge (Thunderbirds, Kampala), Scovia Aketo (Gulu She Elephants, Gulu), Peace Mirembe (Entebbe Sharks, Wakiso), Phionah Nalubwama (Thunderbirds, Kampala), Charity Atimango (Thunderbirds, Kampala), Claire Anena (Black Panthers, Kampala), Fortunate Irankunda (Entebbe Whales, Wakiso), Hellen Gizamba (Black Panthers, Kampala), Emmanuella Oroma (Walukuba Titans, Jinja), Stella Kyalikunda (Thunderbirds, Kampala), Prossy Nakakande (Black Panthers, Kampala), Mary Nakanyike (Thunderbirds, Kampala), Peace Wokorach (Walukuba Titans, Jinja) Backs: Charlotte Mudoola (Black Panthers, Kampala), Harriet Kayonjo (Thunderbirds, Kampala), Gilder Azikuru* (Walukuba Titans, Jinja), Brenda Kayiyi (Black Panthers, Kampala) - captain, Asha Nakityo Nabulime (Thunderbirds, Kampala), Hildah Nyiraguhirwa (Entebbe Sharks, Wakiso), Samiya Ayikoru (Thunderbirds, Kampala), Rachel Babirye Kakaire (Thunderbirds, Kampala), Grace Auma (Walukuba Titans, Jinja), Mary Odoyi Kyoita (Thunderbirds Kampala).
Officials: Allan Musoke (head coach), Helen Buteme (S$C), Nelson Mayeku (Team Doctor/Physiotherapist).