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Namibia primed for Latin American test

Namibia may be facing a shadow Argentina side in their Nations Cup opener in Buenos Aires tomorrow, but that does not diminish the challenge the South Americans bring. 

The match of the four-nation tournament forms part of final preparations for the Rugby World Cup spectacle, which kicks off in France in September. 

World Cup-bound Uruguay and Chile will also face the touring Welwitschias over the next two weeks.

Speaking to Desert Radio this week, Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) vice president Johan Diergaardt said the tour will give an indication of the Welwitschias’ preparedness for the World Cup.

“Argentina XV will not be the strongest side, as it will be the B-side. However, Uruguay will be the test team that will be competing in the World Cup,” said Diergaardt.

“They [Uruguay] are one of our opening opponents in the Rugby World Cup as we take them on in the global rugby spectacle on 27 September.”

The Namibian team left for Argentina last Sunday ahead of their opening match against the abrasive and technical Argentines. The Welwitschias will next test their strength against Uruguay on 5 August in Montevideo before taking on Chile in Temuco on 12 August.

Diergaardt said preparation has gone well so far, with the limited resources at their disposal.

“Players were in the training camp since 1 July. It’s not perfect, but it is what we have. On 26 August, the players and technical team will have a send-off match against the Blue Bulls at the Hage Geingob Rugby Stadium.”

The senior national side leave for France on 29 August, the southern African opponent will face host France, Italy, New Zealand and Uruguay in Pool A of the World Cup.

Namibia’s starting 15 tomorrow are: Desiderius Sethie, Torsten van Jaarsveld (vice captain), Casper Viviers, Adriaan Ludick, Tjiuee Uanivi, Wian Conradie, Johan Retief, Adriaan Booysen, Helarius Kisting, Tiaaan Swanepoel, JC Greyling, Danco Burger, Johan Deysel (captain), Gershwin Mouton and Divan Rossouw.

Substitutes: Louis van der Westhiuzen, Jason Benade, Shifuka Haitembu, Tiaan de Klerk, Max Katjijeko, Prince !Gaoseb, Damian Stevens and Chad Plato.