The national team is set to kick off their 3 week tour against Russia on the 10th of November, Spain on the 17th and Portugal on the 24th. The End of Year Rugby Tour is scheduled by World Rugby for all participating countries that have qualified for the Rugby World Cup 2019, and Namibia is excited to take on the teams of which 2 are rated above Namibia in world rankings.
This plays part of an extensive campaign to prepare Namibia for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. Apart from it being essential for RWC 2019 preparation, this is aligned with the goals set out for the team to increase the level of competitiveness in the RWC 2019.
The selection made by Director of Rugby and National Team Head Coach Phil Davies is based on striving to identify players who have potential to perform at World cup test match intensity and featured around innate ability, equity and fairness. Part of the aims of the tour is to continue to expose our young players to test match rugby along with continuing to build depth and experience in key positions.
The confirmed 28 departing for the tour are: Props: Andre Rademeyer, Casper Viviers, Desiderius Sethie, Nelius Theron, A J De Klerk Hookers: Obert Nortje and Niël Van Vuuren Locks: Tjiuee Uanivi, Ruan Ludick and Mahepisa Tjeriko Back Row: Thomasau Forbes, Max Katjijeko, Renaldo Bothma, Adriaan Booysen and Rohan Kitshoff. Scram Halves: Damian Stevens and Wihan von Wielligh Fly Halves: Cliven Loubser and PW Steenkamp Centres: Johan Deysel, Darryl de la Harpe and J C Greyling Back 3: Janry Du Toit, Johann Tromp, Chrysander Botha, Chad Plato, TC Kisting and Justin Newman.
Some of the popular names missing from the confirmed squad include Eugene Jantjies, Leneve Damens and Christo van der Merwe who are currently recovering from injuries.
With a confirmed team focus of the squad is now intensive training, fitness and conditioning as well as on field skills training sessions making sure that players are ready to compete against the countries which they are up against. Prior to the confirmation of the departing team, it was decided to have the match against Kenya put off seeing as planned date, 21 October 2018 falls to close to the tour. However, a recent request has come through from by World Rugby and the possibility of this match taking place in Nairobi Kenya is in current discussion and confirmation thereof will be communicated soonest.
The importance of this match is again to ensure that the national team is in top form for the upcoming tour.