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Welwitschias need N$38m for Rugby World Cup

Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) vice president Johan Diergaardt says the national rugby senior team needs N$38 million to prepare and successfully compete in the International Rugby Board (IRB) World Cup.

Speaking to Desert Radio recently, Diergaardt said the budget needed to thoroughly prepare the team for the world rugby showdown is in the millions.

The government, through the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service, has allocated N$16 million towards the Windhoek Draught Welwitschias’ preparation and participation at the upcoming IRB World Cup.

“I’m greatly thankful to the government and I must confirm that we’ve already received a down-payment on that amount and it has certainly helped a lot.

“We can confirm that the process is ongoing. And we’ve also received the same amount of money from world rugby, but the biggest chunk of the money needed came from our sponsor Namibia Breweries Limited.”

He said the N$38 million needed is mostly seen during the world cup year, but NRU struggles during the years leading to the world cup.
Diergaardt revealed that players selected for the IRB World Cup will get incentives for appearing at the world spectacle

“I cannot reveal the amount, as I have signed agreements with the players.”

The vice president added that bonuses will be given to players if they record a win. “The Uruguay match must be a win for Namibia,” said Diergaardt.

“Our target game is definitely Uruguay. They are mostly a 15-man nation. They have nice structures and their players are local professionals, they will not be a walk over, but we’re in a good position to win that game.”

Namibia will have their opening match against Italy on 9 September followed by their most difficult match on 15 September against New Zealand, with the match against host France billed for 21 September, while the match the Welwitschias so badly want to win against Uruguay is pencilled in for 27 September.

Diergaardt said the chance of beating Italy is 50/50, if only Namibia can create the necessary chances and capitalise on the opportunities.


Commenting on the strengths and weaknesses of the teams, former rugby player Uakazuwaka Kazombiaze said if the Namibians enforce the game plan properly, they can frustrate the Italians although the Italians have the skill and quality players.

“We’ve a 65% chance of beating them only if we can contest for set pieces and delay balls. Namibia have a dangerous backline with good fly- and scrum-halfs.”

“I’ve seen them (Welwitschias) compete in the Mzansi Challenge. And with the type of backline moves I’ve seen introduced by Chrisander Botha with the help of head coach Allister Coetzee, we can frustrate Italy and possibly beat them by a five-point margin,” said Kazombiaze.

“New Zealand are a very respectable team who do not underestimate their opponents.

However, we’re not going there to participate, but give them competition.

As for France, they’ll have the home advantage and, mind you, France have the highest paying league and have a physical and fast-playing form.”

Kazombiaze added that, for Namibia, exporting talent to other countries would definitely bring the needed depth and experience and is a positive start to a bigger role.

He said the foreign-based players would bring the strength and condition needed by the coaches for their respective game plans at the world cup.

“We need to catch up and the Mzansi Challenge has helped us a lot, our international players have gained wonderful experience and the intensity is the key factor for the team.” Meanwhile, before the Welwitschias’ departure on 29 August, the team will engage the Blue Bulls on 26 August at the Dr Hage Geingob Stadium.