New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Welwitschias Ready for the Spanish

Windhoek — Going into tomorrow's penultimate Windhoek Lager Tri-Nations rugby tournament final against Spain, coach of the Namibian Rugby XV, the Welwitschias, Danie Vermeulen has assured that his charges are ready to give the Spaniards stiff competition.

Although Spain is ranked two places above Namibia in the latest International Rugby Board (IRB) rankings, Vermeulen is unfazed and says that does not really bother him, since their main focus is to win the coveted trophy, adding he has worked very hard to ensure that his boys are well prepared for the physical Spaniards.

"Spain play a very fast kind of rugby and it's a team that does not surrender possession easily, so we have to be very careful with the ball and should also strive to maximise every available chance that comes our way," Vermeulen said.

The wheelchair-bound Welwitschias mentor was quick to admit that his team gave away hopelessly too many balls in their opening game against the Zimbabwean Sables, and added that that will be a scenario he hopes to avoid against Spain.

He further said tomorrow's game will be something out of the ordinary, since his charges plan on going out full force on the physical side of the game.

Surprisngly, utility fullback Chrysander Botha will be a notable absentee in tomorrow's match, due to pending disciplinary issues while bulky flanker Renard van Neel is omitted from the starting line-up as a result of a niggling neck injury. He will be replaced by the youthful Stef Botha.

Furthermore, Vermeulen urged all local rugby fans to prepare themselves for some heated rugby action as the Welwitschias are primed to fight tooth and nail against the visiting Spaniards.

The Namibian team is as follows:

Tinus du Plessis, Sergio de la Harpe, McGrath van Wyk, Johnny Redelinghuys, Cor van Tonder, Andre Schlechter, Munovita Kasiringua, Shaun Kaizemi, Stefan Neustadt, Renaud van Neel, PJ van Lill, Theuns Kotze,Darryl de la Harpe, Danie van Wyk, Johan Tromp, Justin Nel, Eugene Jantjies, Rathony Bekker, Collen Smith, Munee Tjiueza, Stef Botha and Arthur Bouwer.

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