Despite nasty boardroom wrangles within the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU), the Welwitschias will be expected to dust themselves off from the ongoing scuffles and do the nation proud when they confront Russia at the Hage Geingob Stadium in the capital on Saturday.
Namibia kicked off the Windhoek Draught Friendship Test Series with a comprehensive 30-19 win over Russia last weekend, but their celebrations were this week cut short by damning headlines in the local media, with disturbing allegations of racism, theft and nepotism smeared all over the NRU.
But the players yesterday remained fully focused on the job at hand, which is the second match of the series against the visiting Russians.
“We are looking at improving all our systems tomorrow when we face Russia, because the team has been hard at work since Monday,” said newly appointed defence coach, Roger Thompson during yesterday’s media briefing.
“We are taking it one step at a time, and at the moment we have good momentum to win our next game since we’ve been paying more attention to our strengths, which are our counter-attacking and defence,” he added.
Speaking at the same briefing, England-based fullback Chrysander Botha said he is happy to be back on the rugby field. Botha, who plays for Exeter Chiefs in the United Kingdom, dislocated his ankle and fractured his lower left leg during the country’s Northern Hemisphere tour last November.
“It was a very difficult road for me going through recovery, but I’m happy that I’ll be turning out again for my national team. I’m very fortunate to recover on time and get back onto the field to play the game that I love. What will make the day more fantastic is if supporters come out in large numbers again to rally behind the team,” he said.
Namibia will participate in the International Rugby Board (IRB) Rugby World Cup 2015 in England in September this year, when the Welwitschias are set to face Argentina, Georgia, Tonga and New Zealand. – Additional reporting: Nampa