…Tri-Nations Rugby action tonight
WINDHOEK – Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sybrand De Beer, says the union has worked hard to ensure everything is in place ahead of the much-anticipated 2nd edition of the annual Windhoek Draught Tri-Nations Rugby Tournament, at the Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek, which starts today.
De Beer is upbeat about Namibia hosting another successful tournament and expressed the hope that all local rugby lovers will come out in droves to fill the stands, adding the nation’s support will serve as a good morale booster for the team. He emphasized the importance of the tourney, saying it will give local players good exposure and a real taste of competitive test rugby in the tourney featuring hosts Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya. The competition received the full blessings of the International Rugby Board (IRB) and will be graced by the presence of the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR) Vice-President Dave Gilbert. Hosts Namibia open their assault in the three-nation round robin tournament with a date against Zimbabwe at 19h30 tonight.
National team coach, Danie Vermeulen, was oozing confidence yesterday, saying his charges have been preparing hard for this tourney and believes his players have what it takes to manufacture a positive result in their opening match against Zimbabwe. The wheelchair-bound mentor is satisfied with the condition of his squad, a mixture of highly gifted youngsters and some of the finest senior rugby players available. According to him the ultimate aim is to win their opening match in order to keep the momentum going when they lock horns with Kenya, eight days later. The coach says he has faith in the senior players, led by skipper PJ van Lill, scrumhalf Eugene Jantjies, flyhalf Theuns Kotze, winger Chrysander Botha, flanker Tinus du Plessis and prop Johnnie Redelinghuys among the big guns. Upcoming youngsters such as flanker Munee Tjiueza, winger Heinrich Smith and Stefan Neustadt complete the lineup.
The Namibian squad is as follows:
Jaco Engels, Rathony Bekker, Andre Schlechter, Munee Tjiueza, Morne Blom, Rohan Kitshoff, Tinus du Plessis, PJ van Lill (C) Eugene Jantjies, Theuns Kotze (VC) Heinrich Smith, Darryl De La Harpe, Johan Tromp, Sergio De La Harpe, Chrysander Botha, Louis van der Westhuizen, Johnnie Redelinghuys, Shaun du Preez, Stefan Neustadt, Janco Venter, Eneill Buitendag, Johan Deysel and Justin Nel.