The East African select side, was established in 1950 drawing players from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, though majority of the players hailed from Kenya, which traditionally was the strongest rugby playing nation amongst the trio.
When the Elgon Warriors marched on to the Kyadondo pitch to face the visiting England Counties on Saturday 9 June 2012, it marked the first time an East African select side had been in action since 1982 when they embarked on a tour of Zambia and Zimbabwe, winning three and losing three of the five fixtures they played.
The class of 1982, coached by Rod Evans, and captained by Jackson Omaido had just one non Kenyan, Kampala RFC winger David Nsubuga. Fast forward to 2012 and the Elgon Warriors, the reactivated East African side coached by Kenya’s Ham Onsando and captained by Ugandan Alex Mubiru is an almost equal mix of Kenyan and Ugandan players.
The first East African representative side played a visiting side from the University of Cape Town, losing all three matches against UCT, going down 5-33, 0-16, and 9-27.
In 1953 the Rugby Football Union of East Africa (RFUEA) was created in order to take over the mantle as the umbrella organisation for rugby in the region.It also gave the team slightly more official status though little, if anything, had changed with regard to the management of the team. Tuskers tours to the Copperbelt became somewhat of a tradition, six of the eight Tuskers tours have been to this rugby stronghold in southern Africa; a region that can provide an appropriate level of opposition and at a distance that does not strain the purse-strings of the players and unions alike. The only Tuskers tours not to the Copperbelt were toEngland (1966) and Ireland (1972).
A year after the first tour, East Africa faced the British Lions in the first game played at the recently constructed headquarters of East African rugby, the RFUEA and during the next six years welcomed other touring sides from the United Kingdom and South Africa including the Barbarians and South Africa and several prestigious university and military teams.
The Second Tuskers Tour took place in 1962 and again East Africa’s first game at home after returning from a tour was against the British Lions. Between 1963 and 1966 several clubs and universities toured East Africa and played against the full representative side including, in 1964, Wales. Tours from South Africa were no longer welcomed as Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda were participating in the boycott protesting the apartheid regime in that country.
In the six years between the Third (1966) and Fourth (1972) Tuskers tours fifteen high profile clubs from the United Kingdom and the Irish Republic toured the region and played matches against East Africa, including Richmond FC, Blackheath FC, Harlequins FCand Blackrock College RFC several touring twice in those years so enamoured were they by the region and their welcome. The fixtures played by East Africa at this time demonstrate clearly that outgoing tours create contacts and the desire amongst foreign clubs to come to East Africa and the converse also, incoming tours then generate invitations to conduct external visits.
Source- Wikipedia/Gishinga Njoroge