Home advantage welcomed
Namibia will have home advantage for all eight Vodacam Cup games to be hosted in Windhoek next year. Namibia Rugby Union’s Bradley Basson said this is helpful as a build-up towards the Rugby World Cup. In the NRU statement Basson said that the 16 team competition is planned through March to May. “We have a number of local based players who are not exposed to high level rugby and they will benefit from this,” Basson said This is the first inclusion of a Namibian rugby team in the Vodacom Cup rugby competition.
The South African Rugby Union (SRU) agreed to Namibia’s request to be include them in the tournament. Basson said the teams inclusion is due to strong relations with SARU. The final dates for games and for team groupings will be announced by SARU come early 2015. The Welwitschias will play in the Confederation of African Rugby Competition and the World Rugby Nations Cup also in June. Basson said that the probability of having all matches in Windhoek will allow players to continue with their day jobs and help in saving NRU expenses in preparation for the World Cup in September in England. The first game will be against New Zealand at the third largest 54,000 capacity Olympic Stadium. Meanwhile the NRU suffered a loss this year with the death of former lock and captain for the national team Piet du Plooy at the age of 49. He remained involved in the development and support to the game. Basson said the death of Piet du Plooy is a great loss to his family. Wessel Kotze, the Namibian Team Manager and long standing friend of du Plooy said, “We are very sad to hear about Piet’s passing and our heart felt condolences go out to his wife Illsje and son Aj.”