Namibia V Bulls At Vegkop

Namibia's national rugby team takes on the Blue Bulls in their final home match on Saturday, before leaving for the Rugby World Cup next week.

The match was originally supposed to take place at the Hage Geingob National Rugby Stadium, but was recently moved to Windhoek High School's field, Vegkop, due to Heroes Day celebrations at the former venue.

"This decision has been made due to the Heroes Day celebration, as communicated in the official letter from the Ministry of Sport and Youth Service," Namibia Rugby Union president Petri Theron announced at Monday's press conference where Namibia's world cup squad was announced.

"The ministry's official letter necessitates this adjustment, considering the significance of Heroes Day in our national calendar. The NRU fully supports this decision, recognising the importance of honouring our heroes and celebrating their contributions," he added.

The match will serve as final preparation for Allister Coetzee and his coaching team before they leave for their World Cup campaign in France, which gets underway against Italy on 9 September.

At Monday's press conference Coetzee mentioned that several fringe players, as well as players who failed to make the final squad will get an opportunity against the Bulls.

"Not everyone got an opportunity to play at the Nations Cup in Uruguay and some of the players played off the bench most of the time, so this is an ideal opportunity to give them a start," he said.

"A player like Cliven Loubser has just come back from injury, he didn't tour with us, so he will definitely be in the mix as well to start this game. Our standby players will also have an opportunity to get a bit of game time at a higher intensity," he added.

The squad has basically only played three matches together on their recent Nations Cup tour to Uruguay, where they suffered defeats to Uruguay (26-18) and an Argentinian XV (34-27), before beating Chile 28-26, but Coetzee said some invaluable lessons had been learnt.

"We probably didn't get the results in the first two games, but it was the first time that the team actually played together and a lot of lessons were learnt. There's a lot of growth taking place, not just the guys playing, but also around the whole group. You can only grow if you are put under pressure, so I'm happy with where we are," he said.

Coetzee called on the nation's support against the Bulls on Saturday.

"I'm very happy to get a chance to play the Bulls this weekend - we will need all the support we can get. Namibia only has so many players, we are not spoilt for choice, and we can't have a 'bomb squad', we are not in that position," he said.

"But what we can do is to make sure that there is clarity amongst our players, and the never-say-die attitude of the team has really been a stand-out point for me. None of the games started well, but we finished strongly and came back. That is something you cannot coach, to question the 'why' of the team - 'why are we doing this, why are we playing for our country', well that attitude is there and hopefully we can take it into the world cup as well," he added.

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