Windhoek-History is in the making as Khomasdal outfit Western Suburbs welcomes the coastal-based College Rovers to Suburbs Park in their opening match of the South African Provincial Club Championship, the Gold Cup, in Windhoek tomorrow.
The green and white strip outfit will be at full strength after the club reached an agreement with the country’s rugby presiding body, the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU), to have their national team players released for this important clash.
Sentiments aside, Suburbs are the underdogs going into the match, but with coach Walter Don on their side, the Namibian amateurs are capable of frustrating any team on their home turf at any given time – and tomorrow’s battle should be no exception.
Don, a former national senior rugby team scrumhalf and coach, needs no introduction to provincial rugby, because as a player he on numerous occasions represented his native land in the highly competitive and segregation-defiant Federation League during the height of apartheid in South West Africa (SWA) back in the day.
With a relatively young and inexperienced team, Suburbs surprised friend and foe alike with some breathtaking performances during the just-ended campaign, which saw the team mount a sustained challenge for the coveted league title, despite fielding an almost new team, composed from scratch.
Suburbs will be minus three of their star players in the shape of centre Alistair Muller, flanker Tjingairi Katjivi and fast-as-lightning winger Collins Omalu. The trio is currently on national duty with the national junior rugby team in Canada.
Inside centre Daryl de La Harpe will also come up against his former teammates, as the Namibian enjoyed a successful short stint with the Durban side during his early days in provincial rugby.
Entry fee for the match is set at N$30 for adults, N$10 for school going children and N$100 per vehicle.
Suburbs’ starting lineup:
1 Andreas Shikonekeni Loose head prop
2 Neville Vries Hooker
3 Aleck Botha
Tight head prop
4 James Kisting Left lock
5 Fidel Micolleney Right lock
6 Garoeb Ryan Left flanker
7 Thomasau Roberto Forbes Right flanker
8 Roderique Victor Eightman
9 JC Winkler Scrumhalf
10 Eugene Anthony Jantjies Flyhalf
11 Nikin Cloete Left wing
12 Darryl Pierce De La Harpe Inside centre
13 Justin Nel
14 Gino Wilson Right wing
15 Cardo Swartz Fullback
16 Jonathan Goliath Reserves
17 Elliot Lombardt Reserves
18 Gawachab Gerald Howard Reserves
19 Unomuinjo Katjiuongua Reserves
20 Vakomboka Kamboo Reserves
21 Jean Paul Jenneker Reserves
22 Japhet Tjindjo Reserves