Namibia’s senior rugby fifteen, known as the Windhoek Draught Welwitschias’ wily coach John Williams has made his intentions crystal clear by fielding a competitive team in this year’s much-anticipated Currie Cup.
Williams has announced a strong 21-member squad for Namibia’s opening match against Toyota Free State in the South African provincial second tier competition in Bloemfontein on Saturday at 13h30.
The travelling entourage includes no less than five players that did duty for Namibia at the International Rugby Board (IRB) World Cup in England last year.
Skipper Rohan Kitshoff is among the notable names boasting international experience, alongside Darryl de La Harpe, JC Greyling, Russel van Wyk, Leneve Damens and Johan Tromp.
Highly rated youth international hooker Gerhard Lotter will make his senior debut, while the quartet of Marko Prinsloo (fly half) a protégé from the youth setup, Joe Herman (lock) and Reho Falcon’s hooker Denzil van Wyk complete the list of debutants.
Western Suburbs’ versatile fly half and dead ball specialist Shawn Kaizemi starts on the substitutes’ bench. The match will be televised live on pay channel SuperSport.
The Welwitschias starting line-up reads as follows: Quinton Esterhuizen, Gerhard Lotter, Collen Smith, Muniovita Kasiringua, Ruan Ludick, Rohan Kitstoff (capt.), Leneve Dames, Roderique Victor, Arthur Bouwer, Mahco Prinsloo, Malcolm Moore, Darryl de La Harpe, J C Greyling, Russel van Wyk.
Reserves: Joe Hermann, Hauta Veii, Shaun du Preez, Denzil van Wyk, J C Winkler, Shawn Kaizemi.
The following officials will accompany the team in various capacities: John Williams – head coach; Roger Thompson – assistant coach; P D Stoman – strength and conditioning coach; Aidan Fredericks – team doctor; Corne Ferreira – physiotherapist; Danie von Solms – team manager and Ivan Gaya – NRU vice-president.