Welwitschias ready for Uruguay tests

16 Nov 2017 19:30pm
WINDHOEK, 16 NOV (NAMPA) – National Rugby Team (The Welwitschias) Head Coach, Phil Davies says Namibia is ready for its two test matches against Uruguay at the Hage Geingob Stadium.
Namibia is scheduled to face Uruguay in test matches on 18 and 25 November.
Speaking during a press conference here on Thursday, Davies said they will try and pick their strongest team as they try to win and improve their rankings.
“It will be a tough test series as our opponents are ranked 19th and we are ranked 21st in the world. It is a good opportunity for us to be able to introduce some of the younger under-20 players,” he said.
He added that the team will try new combinations as they will use the matches as preparation for the World Cup Qualifiers in June and July next year.
“Uruguay’s demographics are similar to Namibia, they have a population of 3.4 million, they have about 5 000 registered players while we have 1 200, so there is not that much difference between the two countries,” he said.
Davies said they will be missing some of their experienced players, 11 in total, for various reasons, but explained that this will give them an opportunity to field the under-20 players and those who played in the Currie Cup this year.
“We had the youngest ever Namibia Squad playing against Uganda and Tunisia during the Africa Gold Cup which we defended very well, so it is a great opportunity for us to broaden our depth and introduce the youngsters,” he said.
Davies said the Currie Cup and Africa Gold Cup helped improve the conditioning and skill levels of the players, while stressing that the bigger picture was to qualify for the International Rugby Board (IRB) World Cup in Japan in 2019.
He said the main objectives going into the two tests will be to assess the players’ adaptability, their discipline when under pressure and to try and win the game.
The head coach also lauded Uruguay as a good, cohesive side with the ability to keep the ball in multiple phases of the game.
They are also good at putting pressure on their opponents and forcing mistakes, he said.
At the same press conference, it was revealed that Mizuno will provide the technical sponsorship of the playing jersey for the next three years, while Windhoek Draught continues to be the title sponsors of the Welwitschias.
The Namibian squad for the test matches is as follows:
Casper Viviers, Andre Rademeyer, Nelius Theron, Collen Smith, AJ de Klerk, Obert Nortje, Niel van Vuuren, Tjiuee Uanivi, Ruan Ludick, Adriaan Ludick, Mahepisa Tjeriko, Max Katjijeko, Prince !Goaseb, Rohan Kitshoff, Christo van der Merwe, Thomasau Forbes, Adriaan Booysen, Helarius Kisting, Eugene Jantjies, Damien Stevens, Wihan von Wielligh, Theuns Kotze, Cliven Loubser, PW Steenkamp, Darryl de la Harpe, Justin Newman, JC Greyling, Lesley Klim, Heinrich Smit, David Philander, Johann Tromp, Gino Wilson and Chrysander Botha.