23 Nov 2018 06:30am
REHOBOTH, 23 NOV (NAMPA) - The Namibian national rugby team is set to face Portugal in their final match of their European tour on Saturday and hopes to end on a high after losing their second match against Spain 34-13 last week.
After also having lost their opening match of the tour 47-20 against Russia, the Welwitschias are poised to end with a strong display.
A statement issued on Thursday said they had several quality training sessions over the past week in preparation for the match, prioritising areas that can be improved from the last game against Spain.
It further said several guests came into the camp in support of the players and World Rugby in particular, and have been a great help in Portugal.
Among the guests were Johnny Lacey, a Tier 1 referee that was present in training sessions all week.
He was very helpful in terms of refereeing sessions along with law education sessions to help grow the players knowledge of refereeing trends leading into the World Cup 2019, the statement said.
The teams head coach, Phil Davies said it will once again be a tough match for the young squad, however they are going in with the mindset of looking to improve performance and win the final match of 2018.
It has been a successful year for the national team with World Cup qualification gained in record fashion for the squad, Davies said.
He further stated that the aims of the tour amongst others are to re-establish the playing philosophy, be competitive in every test they play and allow every player to have game time.
It has been a good tour and one that has challenged the players both on and off the field. I also hope an enjoyable one for all. It has certainly provided us with increased knowledge of how people react to different conditions and the circumstances of day-to-day touring pressures, Davies said.
He added that this will be invaluable as they build for the World Cup in Japan next year as it has certainly challenged everyone and created an understanding of Northern hemisphere rugby and how physical and quick the game is in that part of the world.
The selected players are Casper Viviers, Obert Nortje, AJ De Klerk, Adriaan Ludick, Tjiuee Uanivi, Thomasau Forbes, Max Katjijeko, Rohan Kitshoff (Vice Captain), Damian Stevens, Cliven Loubser, Johan Tromp, Darryl De LaHarpe (Captain), JC Greyling, Chad Plato and Chrysander Botha.
The substitutes are Niel Van Vuuren, Andre Rademeyer, Desiderius Sethie, Ruan Ludick, Cameron Langenhoven (tour replacement), TC Kisting, PW Steenkamp and Justin Newman.