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Thompson rallies support for the Welwitschias

To the Namibian team at the Rugby World Cup. I wish you all the best with game against Uruguay on Wednesday. 

I never expected results to go our way against the powerhouses we faced to date, however our performance has been a bit of a letdown. 

I am well aware of all the challenges the team faced during its preparations, the differences in high performance grants for Tier 1 and Tier 2 nations, as well as resources, coaching personnel and all the challenges the coach has been highlighting, but let’s put that aside and focus on the task at hand. 

I still believe in this team and what it can achieve. A historical first win at the world cup is still on the cards and having coached most of the players and tracking their pathway through from u20s and the national academy to see most of them winning their first cap, I know that they have the character to rise and face this challenge. 

The pressure is on Uruguay as the rugby world expects them to beat us. 

Our team is robust, resilient and skillful, boasting the most professionals Namibia has ever taken to a world cup, with a leadership group boasting a lot of experience. 

We need this win to resuscitate the high performance development of the game locally. 

We expect the leaders to drive the belief amougst the group after buy-in from coaches to get everyone on the same page in how we aim to achieve the goal. 

We have grown most parts of our game over the last few years and I compliment the current coaching group and specialists in what they have done to develop the Namibian game model. 

We would really like to see World Rugby delivering a meaningful and sustainable competition model for unions outside the Six Nations and the Rugby Championship, to accelerate the competitveness of the global game. 

After the world cup debrief in December we would like to see a sustainable global competition model for emerging nations, to be implemented as early as 2024. 

Enhancing competition for emerging nations is critical for the future growth, prosperity and sustainability of the global game and Namibia, with a proud history of having competed at seven world cups should be at the forefront of this initiative. 

As such, I would like to see us play nations like Georgia, Italy, Tonga, Japan, Portugal and Uruguay regularly over the next three years.

We are from the Land of the Brave, and we expect bravery and courage to be showcased – that is the essence of who we are. 

I would like to wish the leaders and players all the best for the match against Uruguay.  Its unfortunatethat our captain Buffy (Johan Deysel) was red-carded, but I believe that Torsten (van Jaarsveld) and the rest of the squad will make sure we stick to the coaching processes in achieving that memorable first win. 

Roger Thompson 

Former national u20 coach, national academy manager and passionate Namibian team supporter.