Still in search of their first win in the ongoing Currie Cup tournament, Windhoek Draught Welwitschias interim mentor John Williams has announced his 22-man squad that will travel to Ermelo, South Africa to confront Pumas Steval for their 5th round clash on Saturday.
The match against Pumas Steval will be played at Ermelo High School and will be the main game of the day at the venue after the morning’s league match between high schools Ermelo and Piet Retief.
After four rounds of matches in the highly competitive South African provincial Currie Cup tournament, which has seen Namibia losing all four of their opening fixtures against EP Kings, Sharks, Golden Lions and Free State Cheetahs, coach Williams will this weekend be expected to pull the magic strings and hopefully hand Namibia her first victory in this year’s Currie Cup.
The Namibian squad comprises of local players, with many of the youngsters playing for the first time in the Currie Cup – something that coach Williams had earlier indicated will serve as a learning experience for many and will equally benefit his young charges in the long run.
The Currie Cup is South Africa’s premier domestic rugby union competition, played each winter and spring, featuring teams representing either entire provinces or substantial regions within provinces. Steeped in history and tradition, the Currie Cup dates back to 1891.
The tournament is also regarded as the cornerstone of South Africa’s rugby heritage and the coveted gold trophy remains the most prestigious prize in South African domestic rugby.
As for the opponents, Pumas Steval head coach MJ Mentz also announced his 22-man squad, which features three forced changes made for Hugo Kloppers (prevention after concussion), Reynier van Rooyen (shoulder injury) and Bernardo Botha (calf injury). They did not pass their final medical tests for the weekend’s match in Ermelo.
The Welwitschias lineup is as follows: Shaun du Preez, Callie Swanepoel, AJ de Klerk, Muniovita Kasiringua, Ruan Ludick, Rohan Kitshoff (captain), Joe Hermann, Leneve Damens, JC Winkler, Shawn Kaizemi, Russell van Wyk, Francois Wiese, Darryl de la Harpe, Lesley Klim and Johann Tromp.
Substitutes: Hauta Veii, Quintin Esterhuizen, Denzil van Wyk, Zane Groenewaldt, Arthur Bouwer, Justin Nel and Heinrich Smit.