Heroes Welcome for the Welwitschias

Namibia’s national rugby team, the Welwitschias received a heroes welcome upon their return to Windhoek on Tuesday after they had qualified for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in Madagascar.

A small group of about 50 family, friends and fans gave them an enthusiastic welcome at Hosea Kutako International Airport, waving Namibian flags and ‘Rugby World Cup 2015’ banners.

After their arrival at the airport, the team was whisked away for a bus tour through Windhoek where many more fans appeared on the sidewalks to cheer the team on, with some waving Namibian flags.

The president of the Namibia Rugby Union Bradley Basson welcomed the team at the airport and also read out a message by Prime Minister Hage Geingob in which he congratulated the team on its achievement.

“I would like to congratulate the Namibia Rugby Union and the Welwitschias for an outstanding performance over the weekend which ensured that Namibia qualified for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Your performance brought joy and pride to the people of Namibia and exemplified the bravery and never-say-die spirit of our nation,” Geingob’s message read.

Namibia has now been drawn in a tough group along with the world champions New Zealand for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, but Geingob said it was time for the team to become giant-killers.

“We are all aware that Namibia has been drawn in a tough group which includes the New Zealand All Blacks and Argentina. However this is Namibia’s fifth successive Rugby World Cup and the time is right for us to progress from mere participants to history making giant killers. It is time to win,” he said.

“I congratulate you once more and assure you that the whole nation is behind the NRU and Welwitschias as you prepare for what we are sure will be a historic and successful World Cup campaign. Shock the world,” he added.

Basson said the team showed exceptional character and commitment to qualify for the 2015 World Cup.

“Everybody basically wrote us off after our defeat against Kenya and going into our final match against Madagascar, we needed 53 points to qualify for the World Cup, but the boys showed exceptional character when they defeated Madagascar 89-10.

That showed their commitment and spoke of a team that knew where they wanted to be and where they wanted to go.”

Basson said the team was out to cause a huge upset at next year’s World Cup.

“Our match against the All Blacks on 24 September 2015 is something that we will look out for and we are going to work very hard towards showing the world what this Namibian rugby team can do. For clearly, if they stand together and play the way they played against Madagascar, I’m sure that we will be in for a huge upset when Namibia runs onto the field against the All Blacks.”

Basson called on Namibia’s corporate world to show their support and rally behind the Welwitschias as they start preparing for the World Cup.

“I’m encouraging the corporate world to come out and get behind this Namibian rugby team – clearly they have done their part and now it is time for this nation to show their support as well.

“We are very grateful, if you look at the turnout here at the airport today, to the people who have come out and welcomed them back as heroes and I’m sure that they will make us proud in England next year,” he said.

Source : The Namibian