Rugby: Ezoua names Silverbacks squad to face Côte d’Ivoire

The rugby national team has been in training since September. They face Côte d’Ivoire on November 23, in Abidjan. File.

The men’s national rugby team head coach, Claude Ezoua, has announced the 22-man squad he will use against Côte d’Ivoire in the two sides’ Rugby Africa Cup game on November 23, in Abidjan.

The provisional squad comprised a total of 45 players who had been under hardcore training at Gatenda grounds since September. 

In the selection, champions Lion de Fer have a lion’s share with nine players in the squad, followed by Kigali Sharks who contributed six players. Others players come from Muhanga Thunders, Resilience Club, UR Grizzlies, Kamonyi Puma and Thousand Hills.

Ezoua gave a chance to three newcomers on the national side, while former skipper Geoffrey Kamali was dropped for lack of match fitness. Sensational Heritier Habimana and Christian Uwase also will not make the travel due to injuries. 

Should Rwanda see off Côte d’Ivoire in Abidjan, the Silverbacks will progress to the next round where they will face Kenya in a home and away tie.

Training continues for the selected team until Wednesday, November 20, when they will be flagged off by the Ministry for Sports. 

Speaking to players after the selection on Thursday, the local rugby federation’s president, Tharcise Kamanda, congratulated the selected players and urged them to keep working hard in training until the team’s departure next week. 

Full squad:

Full back: Ombeni Iradukunda

Scrumhalf: Moise Habumigisha

Fly half: Carlos Jean Pacifique Isimbi

Wingers: Donatien Ufitimfura and Pompidou Tuyishime 

Center: Pierre Niyoyita, Sharif Gasore, Jean de Dieu Hakizimana and Steven Kwizera 

Forwards: Eric Habimana, Emmanuel Dushimimana, Janvier Bunani, Jean Leonard Twiziyimana, Martin Rukundakuvuga, Moise Ndimurwango, Donath Kanyamahanga, Patrick Ikorukwishaka, Seraphin Mwiseneza, Ismael Bikamba, Barnabe Ngizwenayo, Patrick Kazungu and Olivier Rugwiro.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com