Uganda Rugby Cranes international Ivan Kabagambe was withdrawn from the high-performance program in South Africa after just two weeks.

Kabagambe, a prop, was one of seven players identified, selected, and dispatched by Uganda Rugby Union (URU) on March 13, 2024, for the program under Blue Bulls Rugby Union in Pretoria. He left the program citing a failure on his part to meet the expected standards of his instructors.

The withdrawal was confirmed to Kawowo Sports by URU Chief Executive Officer, Isaac Lutwama Nsubuga on Thursday evening.

Lutwama said Kabagambe was withdrawn from the program because of “his failure to comply with and handle himself in conduct required by the team in the training environment in Pretoria.”

“He did not adhere to required standards and we also realised he was not fully focused on the program to remain in the program. So we took the decision that he should return home.”


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From left to right: Byron Oketayot (Vice Captain Uganda XVs), Alex Mubiru (Special program coordinator URU/BBRU), H.E Amb. Hon Paul Amoru, Ben Eybers (Blue Bulls VP/Chairman of Harlequins in Pretoria) Gert Mulder (Director of rugby Harlequins and Blue…

— Uganda Rugby Union (@UgandaRugby) March 27, 2024

Consequently, on Friday, March 29, 2024, sixteen days after leaving the country, Kabagambe returned home.

His club Stanbic Black Pirates did not respond to media inquiries by press time. However, sources have confirmed that Kabagambe did not return to the Bweyogerere club.

Kabagambe declined Kawowo Sports’ approach for a comment.

URU entered this partnership with Blue Bulls Rugby Union in November last year when their president Willem Strauss visited the country. In March, the first batch of seven players travelled to Pretoria, South Africa for a three-month high-performance program. The now-six players are attached to Harlequin Rugby Club, an affiliate of the Blue Bulls who play in the Carlton Cup.

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The high-performance program aims to boost the Rugby Cranes’ credentials and preparations for the upcoming Rugby Africa Cup and Rugby World Cup qualifiers in the next three years. The technical committee is already in the process of finding a suitable replacement for Kabagambe.

“Of course, it sets us back as we had planned for two props. But the Rugby Cranes coaches and technical committee are finalising details on a replacement player for the program to get back on track. Since we caught this issue early, the other (six) players are undisturbed and continuing with the program.”

The players still on track with the program are Santos Senteza, Faragi Odugo, Byron Oketayot, Eliphaz Emong, Sydney Gongodyo, and Conrad Wanyama. This Saturday, they will feature for Harlequin against Pretoria.

The post Rugby Cranes’ Kabagambe withdrawn from high-performance program in South Africa appeared first on Kawowo Sports.

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