Safland 7’s in it to win it
The Saflands Sevens rugby tournament will be making way on the weekend of the 12 and 13 November when international rugby powerhouses descend on the desert oasis, Swakopmund.
The Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) made the announcement this week in Windhoek.
Tournament organiser, Willem Strauss said the tourney moved to Swakopmund from Windhoek due to a co-sponsoring arrangement with the Swakopmund Dome. “I am sure the participating teams outside Namibia will be amazed by the facilities at the Dome and that the people of Swakopmund will support the festival of Sevens rugby.”
Acting chief executive officer, Elizma Theron of the NRU is optimistic that the tournament has the potential to boost Sevens rugby in Namibia. “We saw a massive boost that the Olympic games had on the already popular Sevens game and if this tournament could help us get to the games in 2020 then it will be worth it.”
Newly appointed Sevens coach, Jurie Booysens was optimistic the Saflands Sevens team could achieve the not so insurmountable feat and actually win the tournament, which would mean knocking current champions, the Blitzbokke. Said Booysens of the mammoth task, “we are in it to win.” Aside from the current cup holders and Olympic bronze medallists, South Africa’s ‘Blitzbokke’, Booysens may face either Zimbabwe, Kenya or the United States of America amongst some of the high profile teams expected to grace the tournament as this year, NRU also extended their invitations to Argentina as well Germany.
Furthermore to add move flavour, a sevens schools tournament will run parallel to the international competition and a Rugby skills Development programme which will accommodate close to 400 children in different age groups. Safland representative Kallie van der Merwe was optimistic that Sevens rugby locally could stand out. He said, “Namibia has the potential to become a force in International Sevens rugby and it is an excellent showcase for young talent moving up through the ranks.”
Meanwhile, the tournament is also set to prepare the teams that are set to participate in the upcoming HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series later in November.