The Namibian national rugby team will play two warm-up matches ahead of its Rugby World Cup qualifiers at the end of June, against DHL Western Province and Vodacom Blue Bulls in Windhoek on June 14 and 21 respectively.
This was announced at a press conference in Windhoek on 28 May, where Windhoek Draught was also confirmed as the main sponsor of the matches and FNB Namibia as an associate sponsor.
The CEO of the NRU, Sybrand de Beer said both matches will start at 14h00 at the National Rugby Stadium, and will be followed by live screenings of the Springboks’ matches against Wales on the same dates.
There will also be curtain-raiser matches involving Sevens and other rugby matches, as well as other entertainment like a jumping castle for children.
“These games will be crucial for our national team and without this we will have no preparation for Madagascar. We have played club and regional Namibian sides but they did not provide very strong competition,” de Beer said.
He added that it was not possible to get Namibia’s foreign-based professional players earlier and this would be the first time that Namibia’s full-strength side will be in action this year.
The president of the NRU Bradley Basson thanked the sponsors for their support, saying it was confirmation that they had restored the sponsors’ confidence in the NRU.
“It’s the first time in a long time that we have managed to bring big teams to Namibia and we hope this will continue. Our boys don’t get enough game time and if we play the same amount of rugby that many international teams play, we will be a force to be reckoned with,” he added.
Ian Stevenson of Namibia Breweries said the matches would be a perfect brand fit for Windhoek Draught, which stands for ‘bringing friends together’ and called on rugby fans to show their support for the Namibian team.
“It’s ironic that Western Province and the Blue Bulls will be coming to Namibia because there is no greater rivalry in South African rugby and both sides have an enormous following.”
“You can only perform if you have exposure against good opposition and they have both sent their best available sides, excluding the Springboks who will be playing on that day, so I invite Namibian supporters to come out in their thousands to watch some great rugby,” he said.
Dixon Norval of FNB Namibia said they were committed to rugby.
“FNB Namibia agreed to be part of these two matches, which will be two of the most exciting matches in Namibia in a long time. At FNB we take a long term view in terms of developing sport and we have very successful development programs in rugby and cricket,” he said.
Tickets for the match are N$50 for the Open Stand and N$150 for the Main Stand of the Western Province match and N$200 for the Main Stand for the Blue Bulls match.
De Beer said the tickets for the Bulls match are more expensive because the Bulls will send a stronger team while there will also be more entertainment on the day. Supporters can also buy Namibian rugby jerseys at N390 each at the stadium or at the NRU office.
Courtesy of allAfrica.com
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