15 February 2013

Namibia: Troubled NRU Skips MTN Lions Match

Windhoek — Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) Chief Executive Officer Sybrand de Beer yesterday confirmed that Namibia's match against MTN Lions that was initially scheduled for the 23rd of this month will no longer go ahead as planned.

De Beer said the NRU saw no point in playing with only local players against South Africa's MTN Lions at this point in time, since the country will not be participating in this year's Vodacom Cup.

"The match was supposed to be a warm-up game for us, but since we are no longer going to participate in this year's Vodacom Cup, we thought it will not be wise to throw our local players onto the field against a very competitive team like the Lions without any of our international players and without proper training. That's why we have resolved to cancel the match in order to give our players more time to regain their fitness ahead of the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR) 1-B tournament in Senegal in June," said De Beer.

Namibia will at least need to win the CAR 1-B tourney in order to be promoted to the CAR 1-A division, which will then enable them to qualify for the 2015 International Rugby Board (IRB) World Cup. De Beer however added that once they are satisfied with the fitness level of players and once some foreign-based players have already joined the camp by then, the Welwitschias will play a friendly match on the 2nd of March against the Easterners, also from South Africa.

On that same day when the seniors take on the Easterners, the U-20 national team will play against a local invitational team, in a match that will serve as a curtain-raiser to the main game.

Meanwhile, De Beer also used the platform to announce that the premier league will kick off on the 11th of May, although the league is still without a headline sponsor at this moment.

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