Newly-appointed Namibia rugby fifteen head coach Allister Coetzee will have his hands full these coming weeks, as the country’s senior men’s team the Welwitschias on Saturday left for Ivory Coast to kick-start their 2023 Rugby World Cup campaign.
The Welwitschias, as Namibia’s senior rugby side is affectionately known, is set to compete in Pool A of the 2021 Africa Cup, which was initially scheduled to be staged at the Windhoek’s Hage Geingob Rugby Stadium, but due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions in the country, the games were moved to Ivory Coast.
Namibia is in Pool A along with Ivory Coast and Madagascar. The 2021 Africa Cup will double as the African qualifiers for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France. The Welwitschias will open their 2021 Africa Cup assault against host Ivory Coast on 3 July before taking on islanders Madagascar on 7 July.
The upcoming Africa Cup will be coach Coetzee’s first major assignment with the Welwitschias, who will be gunning for their ninth trophy at the Africa Cup and possible qualification to the 2023 World Cup. The winner of the Africa Cup automatically qualifies for the World Cup.
Coetzee, formerly head coach of the South African Springboks, will be assisted by former national team players Robert Dickson and Chrysander Botha as well as Sergio de la Harpe, who were all recently appointed interim assistant coaches.
The selected squad is as follows: Adriaan Booysen (Flanker), Jason Benade (Flanker), Ethan Beukes (Prop), Prince Gaoseb (Back row), Simon Kanime (Prop/Hooker), Max Katjijeko (Lock/flanker), Helarius Kisting (Scrumhalf/fly half), Lesley Klim (Wing), Cameron Langenhoven (Flanker), Ruan Ludick (Lock), Oderich Mouton (Wing), Obert Nortje (Hooker), Johannes Retief (Lock/flanker) André
Rademeyer (Prop), Desiderius Sethie (Prop), Ricardo Swartz (Centre/wing), Nelius Theron (Prop), Gerhard Thirion (Hooker), Johannes Tromp (Wing), Pieter-Jan van Lill (Lock), Hannes Van Zyl (Flyhalf), Riaan van Zyl (Halfback), Peter John Walters (Centre/wing) and Wilson Gino.