NRU Welcomes Vodacom Cup Opportunity

The Namibian Rugby Union has welcomed the inclusion of a Namibian team in next year’s Vodacom Cup competition.

NRU President Bradley Basson, confirmed on Tuesday this week that the South African Rugby Union (SARU) star has agreed to the union’s request to be included in the 16-team competition that will run from early March until end of May next year.

“It is the best thing that could have happened to Namibian rugby in our build-up towards the Rugby World Cup. We have a number of locally based players who are not exposed to high level rugby and they will benefit from this,” said Basson from Carcavelos, Portugal.

The final fixtures need to be ratified by SARU Executive council next month but Basson believes there are g indications that Namibia will be allowed to play all eight of their matches in Windhoek.

“The other good thing is that SARU has convinced teams to play all the games against us in Windhoek, so our players who are all amateurs can continue to do their daily jobs, train in the mornings and evenings and be ready for the match over the weekend. It will also save the NRU a lot of expenses and at this stage, we really do have to look at our finances as we will need a lot of resources to prepare for the World Cup.

“It will help with the players’ conditioning, they will be exposed to high intensity rugby and with eight of these matches, they will be much better prepared for the tests we plan in June in the CAR Competitions as well as World Rugby’s Nations Cup and off course for the World Cup in September,” said an enthusiastic Basson.

According to Basson such a venture will also present NRU with the ideal opportunity to generate interest in the Namibian team before they head off for England.

“That is one of the most important aspects that we will be able to get the locals behind the team and in the process lure spectators back to rugby.”

Basson said the inclusion of Namibia in the Vodacom Cup competition was a result of a very g relationship with SARU.

“They remain our big brother and we are immensely grateful to SARU and those teams who have agreed to travel to Windhoek. We promise them Namibian hospitality at its best.”

The details of which group Namibia will be playing in and against which teams as well as the final dates will be confirmed by SARU next month.

Happy return… Namibia’s rugby XV, the Welwitschias (in blue), are set to make a return to the Vodacom Cup competition when the event gets underway next year.

Source : New Era