RugbyWorldCupNZ2011As the Rugby World Cup 2011 gets ever closer there are some interesting developments among the rivals who will be competing for rugby’s highest honour. Take this: The Namibian officials who recently visited New Zealand to check facilities (their team will be playing in the Yarrow Stadium on September 26) and who want some kiwi players to do some coaching.
The attraction? The chance to see some wild animals, for instance.
“Even if it is three or four professional players amongst our amateurs, they will follow them. We are trying to sell this idea. In Namibia, we don’t have money to pay them, but we can offer safari,” said the Namibian Rugby vice president Sarel Losper.
Next year’s World Cup will be the fourth for Namibia after they first qualified in 1999. Despite not having won a game at any of the tournaments, coach John Diergaardt was confident they could break their duck against either Fiji or Samoa, who they will play in Rotorua.
From there, the African side will play their neighbours South Africa on the North Shore before their tournament will likely end in New Plymouth against the Welsh. It’s a tough tournament for one of rugby’s minnows, especially given the draw, which will see them play four games in 17 days.
Losper said players, such as those turning out for Taranaki, could play for three months in Namibia, which fields a side in South Africa’s Vodacom Cup, their third-tier competition.
“We can certainly offer some game, some wild animals, and for a young guy that would be a big experience. I think it’s open for anyone to come and say they want to help develop Namibian rugby.”