May 29, 2024

The Nile Special Rugby Premier League Returns This Weekend, 14th JANUARY, 2023.

3 min read

The Black Pirates and Heathens' players huddle up ahead of a game. They meet again this Saturday at Kings Park Arena. Photo by Hassan Omar

After the Heathens RFC were crowned the Uganda Cup champions in emphatic fashion, that officially marked the start of the rugby season in Uganda.

Having closely lost out to the Jinja Hippos in the National Rugby 7s, the defending Nile Special Rugby Premier League holders will be out for more glory when the league returns.

The Nile Special Rugby Premier League is comprised of 10 top flight teams, playing home and away across 18 fixtures within 3 months.

On any random Saturday, you’ll be sure to catch your favourite rugby club in action across the seven home grounds.

The Fixtures

Before the end of 2022, every team in the league was most certain of whom they play, when and where. With trips to Kampala, Jinja, Entebbe and Bweyogere, rugby fans will have a lot of exhilarating rugby action to look forward to.

This year, Week 8 is a double game week, with teams honouring fixtures on Saturday March 4th and on Wednesday March 8th, the International Women’s Day.

There shall be no break between the first and second round, with action continuing seamless. Grave penalties are dished out to teams that fail to honour their fixtures, therefore walkovers will be a rarity this year.

The Contenders

At the top, the traditional top 3 teams in Heathens, KOBs and Black Pirates are the fans’ favourites to lift the Nile Special Rugby Premier League title.

Pundits and punters alike are calling it for the Heathens of Kyadondo Rugby Club while on social media, the Jinja Hippos fans point to their team as valid title contenders in the 15s code of the game.

At the periphery of the Top 5, Jinja Hippos and  Toyota Buffaloes will be embroiled in the battle for 4th and 5th place, but not without a challenge. Mulago Rams, Plascon Mongers and the rejuvenated Rhinos will be knocking on the Top 5 door, providing much needed competition for the big boys.

The Relegation Battle

Newly promoted Walukuba Barbarians will face their biggest challenge yet in the last 4 years. The are not new to the league. They last featured in the 2018/2019 season, from which they were relegated.

They have shall have to rely on the form they picked up during the National Rugby 7s season.

The arrogant boys of Makerere Impis are not new to the relagation battle. They finished the previous season 9th, surviving relegation convincingly.

Confidence is running high in their camp, having been a force to reckon with in the National Rugby 7s season.

Makerere Impis Celebrate Uganda Shield Championship. Photo by URU

Why You Should Attend Rugby

Apart from the big hits, side steps and tackles, there is more to rugby than the action on the turf. Rugby is synonymous with a good time, an entertaining way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon.

From the music, to the barbecue, drinks to the atmosphere, there is something for everyone.

Rubgy fans enjoy light photo moment at a game. Courtsey Photo.

Opening Day Fixtures (All Games Kick Off At 4PM)

Black Pirates Vs Heathens – Kings Park Arena, Bweyogere.

Jinja Hippos Vs Makerere Impis – Damwaters, Jinja.

Toyota Buffaloes Vs Rhinos – Kyadondo Rugby Grounds.

Kobs Vs Walukuba Barbarians – Legends Rugby Grounds.

Mongers Vs Rams – House of Pain, Entebbe.        

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