Ugandan rugby players who vanished after Glasgow games have turned up in Cardiff

The pair are seeking asylum and were said to be 'barely able to feed themselves'

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The Independent Online

Two rugby players from Uganda who disappeared after the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow have been found playing for a small team in Wales.

Benon Kizza and Philip Pariyo of the Uganda national sevens team vanished last August after the Games had finished amid rumours that they were working at a car wash in the Scottish city, The Times reports.


The pair ended up around 400 miles (640km) away in Cardiff where they were signed up by bosses at St Peter’s rugby club. The chairman described one of them as an “extra-gifted” player.

“We have actually signed them now and they are playing for us,” Joe Sweeney, the club chairman, told The Times.

“We have gone through all the bureaucratic procedures and everything and they are signed as St Peter’s players.”

Kizza and Pariyo decided to apply for asylum due to political reasons and are said to be “petrified” of a “potential backlash against them,” WalesOnline reported.

They were also destitute and barely able to feed themselves, the online newspaper added.

Kizza and Pariyo now play for St Peter’s Rugby Club in Cardiff

The men were allocated housing at a hostel near the field that the rugby club uses, Mr Sweeney said.

The chairman was approached by Community First to see if the two men could join the team. The charity seeks to tackle poverty in disadvantaged areas in conjunction with the Welsh government.

The rugby players were accepted into the team because it is a “community club,” Mr Sweeney added.

A spokesman for the Uganda Rugby Union had said that the pair had “not gotten permission” from them to play for another club.