08 Nov 2013 17:50pm
WINDHOEK, 08 NOV (NAMPA) - The 2013 Windhoek Draught Tri-Nations Series kicks off on Friday, with host Namibia playing against Zimbabwe at the Hage Geingob Rugby Stadium in Windhoek.
Namibias Welwitschias beat Zimbabwe 37-33 during the 2012 Tri-Nations in Windhoek.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU), Sybrand de Beer earlier this week said at a media briefing one of the objectives of the event is to give the national rugby team more test rugby exposure in view of the final rounds of the Rugby World Cup qualification matches next year.
The games also serve to compare the Namibian national team against Zimbabwe and Kenya.
De Beer urged all Namibian rugby supporters to wear a Namibian rugby jersey or something blue in support of the Welwitschias.
Namibias match against Zimbabwe will kick off at 19h30 on Friday night.
The match will be preceded by a contest between a Namibia Under-20 team against a Namibia Invitational XV team, starting at 17h00.
Kenya and Zimbabwe will face each other on Tuesday at 19h30, while the final match of the series will be between host Namibia and Kenya on Saturday 16 November, and that encounter will be preceded by the first matches of the Get into Rugby Tournament, which will see several junior players in action.
Our first match on Friday against Zimbabwe is of high importance, as it will set the tone for the rest of the tournament, said De Beer, adding that a win for Namibia will give the locals confidence for the match against Kenya on 16 November.
The average age of the Welwitschia team is only 24 years. The team under the captainship of PJ van Lill is made up of Andre Schlechter, Arthur Bouwer, Chris Arries, Chrysander Botha, Darryl de la Harpe, Eneill Buitendag, Eugene Jantjies, Heinrich Smit, Jaco Engels, Janco Venter, Johan Deysel, Johan Tromp, Johnny Redelinghuys, Justin Nel, Louis van der Westhuizen, Morne Blom, Munee Tjiuza, Rathony Bekker, Stefan Neustadt, Rohan Kitshof, Shaun Du Preez, Sergio de la Harpe, Theuns Kotze and Tinus du Plessis.
Well-known South African referee Jonathan Kaplan, who will officially retire on 16 November after the Windhoek Draught Tri-Nations Series, will officiate the match between Namibia and Zimbabwe tonight.
After retiring Kaplan will continue being involved in matches within the school structures in the Western Cape in South Africa.