Kenya and Uganda women name squads for historic women's rugby league international

15 Dec 2023

Rugby league in Africa will take another significant step forward when Kenya and Uganda meet in a women’s senior international at the Kisumu Polytechnic Grounds, 400km north west of Nairobi on the shores of Lake Victoria, tomorrow (Saturday, kick off 2pm local time).

It will be the women’s debuts for both nations, Kenya currently running a six team domestic competition and Uganda’s comprising of four. 

Kenya will be using the game as an opportunity to assess their chances for the 2026 Rugby League World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria in September next year, while observer member Uganda take their first steps towards potential 2028 Women’s WC qualification, in their first international of any kind.

“We are really excited to have our first ever test match for women in Kenya,” said their head coach Antonio Lombardo.I was impressed with the ladies' attitude at the camp and I am very sure that they are going to display some beautiful rugby league. We welcome the Uganda team and we are looking forward to entertaining the fans.”

Uganda have been assisted by reigning women’s Super League champions York Valkyrie, with their head coach Lindsay Anfield set to be in attendance at the game.

Uganda women’s head coach, Fortunate Irankunda, commented: “We are so honoured to embrace our next step after having a successful championship that run from April to June this year. We can’t wait to see our very own ‘Ugaknights Warriors’ on the international stage. York have been fantastic partners helping this happen as have the Whales Rugby League Academy club’s management in all regions with their tireless efforts to ensure we have a team to represent us all.”

Alice Muigai, Angel Salamba, Clarice Mutambi, Christine Oketch, Dorothy Mulela, Dorris Kimani, Esther Ongiri, Lovinah Mijere, Maxine Abuga, Moreen Atieno, Milkah Chitechi, Sophye Nabwire (AP Warriors), Mary Ngendo, Rose Nyaboke (Ngong), Janet Malwa, Vivian Anyango (Sharks), Lawnisky Munayi (RV Ruffians)

Aisha Nakityo Nabulime, Cabrine Kirabo, Fortunate Irankunda Isabella Ira, Lucky Melan Nirere, Maimuna Namboga, Nema Sarah Alanyo, Sarah Namutebi (Bwerenga Balleen), Fazirah Namukwaya, Sarah Kirabo, Susan Agenorwot (Musoto Insomniacs), Bonet Irankunda, Emily Muhoza, Halima Kemigisha, Judith Ntakirutimana, Rachel Cyizanye, Salama Uwamahoro, Sarah Kamahoro (Saaza Sharks)