Sevens World Cup a 'dream come true' for Magomu

Uganda Cranes' flyhalf Ivan Magomu dashes past Kenya's scrumhalf Samson Onsomuon during a recent Rugby Africa Gold Cup match. TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images

Youngster Ivan Magomu was happy to make Uganda's final squad for the 2018 Rugby World CupSevens to take place in San Francisco, USA from 20-22 July.

The 21-year-old flyhalf was among the 12-man Uganda Rugby Cranes team announced by head coach Tolbert Onyango on Monday.

"This is a dream come true because it is every player's dream to feature at the World Cup. It is all because of hard work and the technical bench having faith in me that I can perform at the big stage," added Magomu.

Although he missed out playing in the World Cup qualifiers last year because of a nagging knee injury, he is now determined to play his heart out for the country. "Playing for the country is not something small and we shall die a little for Uganda," added Magomu.

It is not by mistake that Magomu makes the squad as he has been a hard-working player since his early years in secondary school. In 2010 he was also voted most valuable player (MVP) in schools rugby.

Micheal Okorach, who captained the sevens team at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia, says that although they are underdogs at the World Cup, they are going all out to prove a point.

"Playing Samoa in the first game is big, but we are determined to get something out of that game," added Okorach.

Should Uganda defeat Samoa, the Rugby Cranes will battle England in the round of 16.

Africa's other representatives at the World Cup Sevens include Zimbabwe, Kenya and giants South Africa, who are among the top ranked automatically qualifying for the round of 16.

In the new World Cup format the losers in the preliminary round of 16 will drop to bowl competition, with losers in round of 16 dropping to the Challenge Trophy and the winners progressing to the Championship.

Ramzy Olinga, CEO of the Uganda Rugby Union (URU), told KweséESPN that although they are happy Uganda will debut at the World Cup, the new format does not favour smaller teams.

"Personally I think the old system where you are pooled in a group was better for the smaller ranked team to get more games to play and the exposure at the big stage," he said.

New Zealand are the reigning World Cup Sevens champions.

Uganda Rugby Cranes squad:

Desire Ayera, Timothy Kisiga, Aaron Ofoyrwoth, Pius Ogena, Byron Oketayot, Adrian Kasito, Solomon Okia, James Odongo, Micheal Okorach, Justin Kimono, Philip Wokorach, Ivan Magomu.