Black Pirates will be out to defend home territory and lay down a marker when they welcome league holders Platinum Credit Heathens to the King’s Park Arena in Bweyogerere tomorrow at 3pm. The hosts of Pirates finished second last season, 10 points behind eventual champions Heathens.
The crunch fixture will headline the 2023 Nile Special rugby premier league opening weekend as the sea robbers aim to avenge their 20-14 Uganda cup final loss last month.
Going into the new season, both sides have beefed up their teams with Pirates adding Shadrach Manano, Patrick Matovu, Alvin Rukundo, Daniel Nshimiyimana, Pius Ojeabulu and Jeremiah Josenu while Heathens have signed forward Peter Bisaso from Jinja Hippos together with Alleni Rogers Mungufeni and Joshua Kafugankande from their junior side Stallions.
Heathens head coach Mohammad Athio believes his side is ready for tomorrow’s encounter.
“I know it wont be an easy one, its quite going to be a challenging game but I believe it will be a quite an entertaining one, no team is ever prepared for the new season, though I believe we have prepared well to take on our first challenge”
Strength and conditioning coach Allan Otim says focus has been on improving endurance.
“We have been working on our endurance, our strength, our power and then the mental toughness while on the field.“
Team captain Charles Uhuru reflected on the much-anticipated fixture.
“For the last three weeks we have been training had enough and the boys are in good shape and we are ready for the challenge ahead”
In the other fixtures tomorrow, KOBs will welcome newly promoted Walukuba Barbarians to Legends, Impis travel to the Dam waters to take on Jinja Hippos while Mongers will host Rams in Entebbe. At Kyadondo, Buffaloes will entertain Rhinos in the battle of the horns.
The Pirates verses Heathens game will be air live on NBS Sport.