The Namibia Rugby Union, in collaboration with the Namibia Breweries Limited, will this weekend host the first round of matches of the newly-introduced Windhoek Draught Franchise 10s tournament at the Hage Geingob Stadium.
The tournament, which will see various top local coaches oversee over six teams of selected home-based players during the course of the competition, will be played in two rounds, with the first run taking place this Saturday and Sunday.
The second and final round is slated for the weekend of 8 and 9 October at the same venue.
The tournament is expected to attract over 120 players, and the participating teams will be playing under the brands and names of various sponsors.
The participating teams are Team Windhoek Draught, Team U-Com Mobile, Team DStv, Team Best Choice Cowboys, Team Gravity Force and Team Brand Plan.
Coaches Charles Oosthuizen, Gerald Loubser, Robbie Dickson, Gawan Peter Esterhuizen, David Philander and Rohan Kitshoff will be mentoring the different teams.
NRU CEO John Heynes shared with New Era Sport that the tournament is aimed at giving local players and gaffers additional game-time and further exposure to high-level rugby, while also unearthing new talents for the future.
“The idea is for us to create additional competitions for our local players. We have the Africa Sevens competition coming up next year, and we want our players to be ready for that event. So, having a competition such as the Windhoek Draught Franchise 10s tournament is of great importance,” he highlighted.
Kitshoff, who ordinarily coaches Wanderers Rugby Club but will be overseeing Best Choice Cowboys during the upcoming competition, said the tournament will add great value to the entire ecosystem of local rugby, as more relationships will be built amongst players and coaches.
“This will be a great initiative for players from different teams to come together, play together in one team and interact. It is a good opportunity for them to get to learn from each other and get to understand each other better. That will also help when they get called up to the national team in the future, as the chemistry will already exist amongst them,” he explained.
“This will create good competition and provide many of our young players adequate game-time. It will keep them fit, as some players will be called up for the national teams and other teams for upcoming international competitions.”