Shot in arm for Welwitschias

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WINDHOEK – Facing a gruelling schedule ahead of next year’s World Cup qualifiers, the Namibian rugby fifteen the Welwitschias’ preparations for the upcoming CAR Division-1A tournament, which serves as a qualification tourney to the World Cup, received a huge boost.

Namibia Breweries Limited, through its Windhoek Draught beer brand, teamed up with local financial giants FNB Namibia to throw their weight behind the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) in ensuring the smooth running of proceedings when the Welwitschias greet South African sides Western Province and Vodacom Blue Bulls in friendly matches.

The team takes on Western Province on June 14 at the Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek, before locking horns with the Bulls a week later at the same venue.

Both matches will serve as preparation for the forthcoming CAR (Confederation of African Rugby) Division-1A qualification tourney slated for Madagascar on June 28.

During a press briefing in Windhoek on Wednesday, both FNB’s Dixon Norval and Namibia Breweries’ Ian Stevenson shared similar sentiments, saying the NRU has drastically improved in the areas of financial management and accountability, adding that the union has of late demonstrated its desire to take local rugby to its rightful place on the African continent.

The two sponsors were also in unison that it’s about time the local business community starts supporting various NRU initiatives, be it the national league, national teams or even assisting with grassroots development programmes.

At the same occasion the NRU president Bradley Basson heaped praise on the two sponsors for having shown confidence in the union and for pledging to become part and parcel of various developmental initiatives for rugby. 

Said Basson: “Playing against teams like Western Province and the Bulls will come in handy for the national team, especially at a time when we are faced with the daunting task of negotiating our way past formidable opponents such as Zimbabwe, Kenya and Madagascar in our quest to make a 5th consecutive appearance at the world rugby showpiece in England.”

By Otniel Hembapu