Windhoek-Namibia’s senior rugby team, the Welwitschias (and not the second-stringers Windhoek Draught Welwitschias who are currently partaking in the Currie Cup) will be expected to put their best foot forward and dust themselves off by beating Italy when the two countries clash in today’s Nations Cup tie in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Namibia lost its opening Nations Cup match to Spain after narrowly going down 13-15 against the highly skilful Spaniards during their Pool A clash in Montevideo.
Namibia, however, stand a great chance of recording their first victory, as Italy appear beatable and quite breakable in many of its departments, especially when one closely reads into their last performance against host nation Uruguay, a game Italy lost 21-30.
The Welwitschias currently sit bottom of Pool A with only one bonus point from their last defeat against Spain, while Italy also occupy bottom spot in Pool B with no point. Namibia’s final match in the competition will be against Russia on Sunday.
The Nations Cup is a rugby union competition first held in 2006. The tournament is part of the International Rugby Board’s strategy aimed at providing more competition for tier-one A-sides, as well as offering more opportunities for second and third-tier nations, such as Namibia, Portugal, Russia, Uruguay, Georgia and Romania.
The Namibian starting team: Collen Smith, Louis van der Westhuizen, Johannes Coetzee, Ruan Ludick, Tjiuee Uanive, Christo van der Merwe, Janco Venter, Renaldo Bothma (Captain), Damian Stevens, Theuns Kotze (vice-captain), Gino Wilson, Darryl de la Harpe, JC Greyling, Lesley Klim and Johan Tromp. The substitutes: Shaun du Preez, AJ de Klerk, Casper Viviers, PJ van Lill, Wian Conradie, Eugene Jantjies, Cliven Loubser and Justin Newman.