European tour a learning curve: Newman

28 Nov 2018 19:30pm
WINDHOEK, 28 NOV (NAMPA) – Welwitschias team manager, Irvin Newman said their recent three-country European tour was a learning curve in terms of logistical preparations for future tours.
He was speaking at a media conference in Windhoek on Wednesday following the national rugby team’s arrival from a three-week European tour.
Namibia played Russia on 10 November and lost 47-20, before engaging Spain on 17 November, again losing 34-13 before recording their only victory of the series, a 29-23 win against Portugal on 24 November.
Tour team captain, Darryl de la Harpe said the team faced different challenges like traveling, which affected them throughout the tour.
“We had logistical problems such as traveling long distances between the accommodation and stadiums,” he said.
According to Newman, the challenges resulted from the stadium location being announced upon arrival. Their hotel was already booked beforehand, which affected their preparation.
Newman said he deliberately mixed junior and senior players to bond for a week for that purpose.
Despite the challenges, senior player Johan Tromp saw the opportunity to build friendships with his teammate as a highlight.
“We don’t see each other in a friendship way but on this tour you got to stay and bond with one guy for a week. So you learn about them and get to know each other better,” said Tromp.
Meanwhile, Newman also explained that eight players took part in anti-doping checks over the duration of the tour.
Namibia used their annual European tour to try out new combinations and blend younger players into the team as part of the preparations for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.