Welwitchias off to Madagascar for CAR tourney

WINDHOEK: The Namibian national rugby team left for Madagascar on Wednesday to take part in the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR) qualifications’ tournament for the 2015 Rugby World Cup (RWC) in England.

Before their departure, the Welwitchias on Wednesday morning gathered at Windhoek’s Mearua Mall to meet and greet rugby supporters.

The team flew out from the Hosea Kutako International Airport to Johannesburg, South Africa, en-route to Antananarivo, Madagascar.

Team captain Pieter-Jan (PJ) van Lill told Nampa they are aware that it will be a tough tournament, as both Kenya and Zimbabwe are strong rugby-playing nations.

He said they (Welwitchias) rely on their talent to pull them through the tournament.

“Zimbabwe is always a tough team, because we play the same type of rugby and make use of the same structures,” van Lill told this reporter.

He said Madagascar should also not be underestimated.

Van Lill said their two matches earlier this month against the Western Province and the Blue Bulls – two professional South African-based teams – in Windhoek was a good measurement and practice session for the team.

Namibian coach Danie Vermeulen said they watched Kenya closely during their recent Vodacom Rugby match again Western Province played in Nairobi to get a clearer picture of their opponents.

“We must focus on ourselves not on the Kenyans, and we must do what we must do on the field,” he told Nampa.

The Welwitchias will face Kenya on Saturday, Zimbabwe on Wednesday, and Madagascar on Saturday.