Geingob sends off Welwitschias to World Cup

President Hage Geingob has told the Rugby National Team to go out and surprise the world at the 2019 Rugby World Cup which kicks off on Friday 20 September in Japan.

Speaking during a sending off ceremony at State House on Tuesday in Windhoek, Geingob told the Namibia players should not fear their opponents who include defending champions New Zealand, former winners South Africa, Italy and Canada in Group B.

This is the sixth time we are going to the World Cup, and they have put us in a tough group. They even made us play a tough game first (against Italy), but we are warriors, go there and fight. You are the second best ranked team in Africa, Geingob said.

The head of state further urged the players to treat their opponents with respect, while at the same representing the country with pride.

He added that during his official trip to Japan, he was told that the people over there were looking forward to hosting Namibia during the world cup.

By being at the World Cup, you are representing you country. If you lose matches, is not the end of the world. Defeated or not you are good in your country, you are exposing these young boys to the world, so they see how things are done, Geingob said.

Speaking at the same occasion, president of Namibia Rugby Union Connie Mensah said the team will go there and be competitive rather than to make up numbers or just participate.

We have selected a very young team for this world cup. We also achieved our transformation goals of having 50-50 balance between the people of colour previously advantaged. The spirit in camp is high and we are going into this war with great Spirit and we will do the country proud, he said.

Head coach Phil Davis thanked the government for their support the players are ready and prepared for the tournament.

Namibia leaves for Japan on 12 September before facing Italy in their opening match on 22 September and thereafter will play South Africa on 28 September in Toyota before facing defending champions and favourites New Zealand in Tokyo on 06 October.

They conclude their group stage matches against Canada on 13 October in Kamaishi.

Source: Namibia Press Agency