10 Sep 2019 14:30pm
WINDHOEK, 10 SEP (NAMPA) President Hage Geingob has advised the national rugby team to go out and surprise the world at the 2019 Rugby World Cup which kicks off on 20 September in Japan.
Speaking during a sending off ceremony at State House here Tuesday, the Head of State said the Welwitschias should not fear their opponents who include defending champions New Zealand, former winners South Africa, Italy and Canada in Group B.
This is the sixth time we are going to the World Cup and they have put us in a tough group with a tough game first (against Italy), but we are warriors, go there and fight. You are the second best ranked team in Africa, he added.
Geingob further urged the players to treat their opponents with respect, while at the same representing the country with pride.
He told the players that during his official trip to Japan, he was told the people over there were looking forward to hosting Namibia during the World Cup.
By being at the World Cup, you are representing your country. If you lose matches, it is not the end of the world. Defeated or not, you are good in your country, Geingob said.
President of the Namibia Rugby Union, Corrie Mensah who led the players said the team will go there and be competitive rather than to make up numbers or just participate.
We have selected a very young team for this World Cup. We also achieved our transformation goals of having a 50-50 balance between people of colour and the previously advantaged. The spirit in camp is high and we are going into this war to do the country proud, he said.
Namibia leaves for Japan on 12 September before facing Italy in their opening match on 22 September.
The team will thereafter play South Africa on 28 September in Toyota before facing defending champions and favourites New Zealand in Tokyo on 06 October.
They conclude their group stage matches against Canada on 13 October in Kamaishi.