New Rwanda head coach Torsten Frank Spittler has handed debut national team call-ups to Mukura wonderkid Elie Tatou Iradukunda and Marines FC forward Arthur Gitego following their impressive breakthrough this season.
The pair is among four fresh faces who made the cut in Spittler’s 30-man provisional squad for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Zimbabwe and South Africa respectively. Amavubi will host the Warriors of Zimbabwe at Huye Stadium on November 15 before taking on Bafana Bafana at the same venue six days later.
The squad is made up of nine foreign players namely skipper Djihad Bizimana of FC Kryvbas, goalkeeper Fiacre Ntwari of TS Galaxy in South Africa, teenager Hakim Sahabo of Standard Liege, centre back Ange Mutsinzi of FK Jerv, Thierry Manzi of Al Ahli Tripoli, left-back Emmanuel Imanishimwe of FAR Rabat, Rafael York of Gefle IF, Patrick Sibomana of Gor Mahia and Lague Byiringiro who plies his trade at Swedish side Sndaviken IF.
APR is the highest-represented Rwandan Premier League club with eight players whereas Rayon has four. Besides Gitego and Iradukunda, Spittler also handed debut call-ups to Gad Muhawenayo of league leaders Musanze FC and Kiyovu SC shot-stopper Jimmy Djihad Nzeyurwanda with the coach hoping to see them shine between the spots in the absence of Yves Kimenyi who is out injured.
Yves Mugunga who has not played for the Amavubi for over a year and Bienvenue Mugenzi also return to the squad as a reward for their fine form at Kiyovu and Police FC respectively. The likes of Omborenga Fitina, Gilbert Mugisha, and Abdul Rwatubyaye are among the elite players maintaining their place in the setup while Kevin Muhire regains his spot in the team after a one-match suspension.
Rwanda is paired in the same Group C with Nigeria, Benin, South Africa, and Zimbabwe who are all eyeing the coveted ticket to the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.