U20 national rugby team ready to defend Rugby Africa trophy

01 Apr 2019 18:40pm
WINDHOEK, 01 APR (NAMPA) – The national Under-20 (U20) rugby team is ready to defend the Rugby Africa Junior Barthes Trophy for the seventh consecutive time, its captain, Gilab Plaatjies, has said.

Speaking at a national colours handover ceremony at the Namibia Sports Commission on Monday, Plaatjies said the team has prepared well for the tour and without a doubt they will successfully retain the trophy which the country has won since 2013.

“What’s more important for us in this tournament is the experience we are going to gain. The team is positive of retaining this trophy back home because we prepared really well for the competition,” he said.

In 2018 the U20 team successfully defended the trophy in front of their home supporters at the Hage Geingob Stadium, where they defeated Kenya 37-18 in the final.

This year, the Namibian team will travel to Kenya, Nairobi where they will face the likes of Senegal, Tunisia and host nation Kenya in their Pool A encounters, with the winner from that pool qualifying for the 2019 Junior World Rugby Trophy set for Estádio Martins Pereira in São José dos Campos, Brazil in July.

Speaking at the same occasion team coach Johan Diergaardt stated that the team is travelling to Kenya with one aim of making the country proud.

“We have a bunch of talented players in this squad and they are going to represent the country well while in Kenya as we aim of qualifying for the Junior World Rugby Trophy that will be held later this year,” Diergaardt said.

The coach added that the team is comprised of 10 players who have already represented the country in this competition.

“Eight of our players are students and seven of them play for UNAM rugby team in the Namibia Rugby Premier League, while one of the team members plays for Trustco United team, also in the Premier League.”

The team departs for Nairobi, Kenya on Tuesday.