Welwitschias coach happy with progress
WINDHOEK, 19 MAY (NAMPA) – The senior national rugby team’s coach, Phil Davies has expressed satisfaction with the progress made by the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) after competing at the 2015 Rugby World Cup held in England.
Namibia finished bottom of the group with one point, which was their first-ever World Cup point. The Welwitschias were in Pool C with New Zealand, Tonga and Georgia.
Speaking at a consultative meeting held with the media at the NRU head office on Thursday, Davies said the NRU High Performance Plan that aims to have the team qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup (RWC) is in full operation, with rugby stakeholders and players responding well to the idea.
Davies said the Welwitschias are to compete in eight games in the World Rugby Nations Cup and the African Nations Cup, which will hopefully improve their rankings ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
“Our aim with the high performance plan is to achieve excellence, pride and create our own identity through the game of rugby.
“We are now going to play Russia and Spain in the World Rugby Nations Cup. This will be a good test for our players since our last game was played in August 2016.”
He said the NRU is working on a goal of having over 2 000 rugby players all over Namibia.
“We currently have 1 500 players who are actively playing rugby in Namibia but we want to improve that over the next six years. We also want to have more clubs compete in the Premier League from the current eight.”
The Welwitschias have been invited to participate in the 2017 Nations Cup in Montevideo, Uruguay from 10 to 18 June 2017. This tournament and their participation in the Rugby Africa Gold Cup 2017 in July, serve as preparation for qualification for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Davies said they have included a number of young players in the senior national team to compete in these two competitions because they want them to mature as players and gain more experience through exposure at a higher level.