By Carlos Kambaekwa
Contrary to earlier reports that rugby boss Dirk Conradie intends to vacate the Namibian Rugby Union’s hot seat, the situation is that Conradie’s sometimes turbulent tenure at the helm of the oval ball is finally coming to an end when the NRU holds its annual general meeting (AGM) on the 2nd of next month.
The AGM will coincide with the historic friendly encounter between Super 14 giants the Bulls and the Lions at the Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek on the same day.
Conradie was drafted in as the first black president of the predominantly white National Rugby Union in 1999 by the now defunct National Sports Council and was tasked to oversee the transformation of rugby that led to Namibia making three successive appearances at the World Cup finals under Conradie’s leadership.
Though the constitution makes provision for two terms of four years, reliable sources within the troubled discipline strongly believe the usually defiant Conradie will not go down without a fight as he might invoke a technicality in the statutes that could allows him to seek re-election since his first entry was primarily on the ticket of the Sports Council, before he was officially elected in 2004.
Meanwhile, the protracted battle between the Namibian Rugby Union and its disgruntled former financial manager Pieter Fick is far from over.
New Era Sport has it on good authority that the embattled union is in the process of pressing charges of misconduct against the whistle-blower for bringing the game of rugby into disrepute.
Fick, who is now chairman of Wanderers Rugby Club, an affiliate of the NRU, stands accused of having violated the NRU’s code of conduct when he alerted the world’s rugby governing body to the unbecoming fashion in which the NRU disposed of its allocated World Cup tickets.
The revelation, that sent shockwaves amongst sport enthusiasts and several high-ranking government officials, saw the entire NRU executive having their accreditation revoked ahead of Namibia’s participation in the six-week long World Cup finals in France last year.
Elsewhere, the national rugby selectors successfully held trials for the National Under 20 Rugby Fifteen that is scheduled to partake in the World Trophy Championship in Chile, later this year.
The trials were held in Windhoek last weekend and 36 players were provisionally selected before the squad is trimmed down to the required 26 players by the end of next month ahead of the championships, which get under way in Santiago on April 16.
Former Namibian speedy winger Eden Meyer with Henk Botha as his right-hand man have been entrusted with the task of taking the youngsters through their paces, while Gabriel Nana Tjombe will manage the team.