The country’s Premier Rugby Sevens tourney, known as the Safland Sevens, will be staged at the coastal town of Swakopmund on November 12.
The second edition of the two-day annual gathering has once again attracted world class Sevens outfits in action, such led by hosts the Namibia’s national sevens team and South Africa’s Blitsbokke.
Invitations were also extended to the national teams of United States (USA), Argentina, Germany, Kenya and Zimbabwe, and other sevens rugby playing nations while a South African All Stars and the Living Legends teams are also expected to showcase their skills.
With the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series due to kick off in three weeks after the tourney, in Dubai, the Namibian tourney will serve as an ideal platform for a number of World Series teams to hone their skills. The tourney will also offer newly appointed Namibia Sevens coach, Jurie Booysen, the opportunity to test his team against some of the finest Sevens players in the world. The Blitsbokke, bronze medalists at the just ended Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, are firm favourites to win the competition, but would be better advised to guard against complacency since the likes of Kenya, USA and Argentina have all won on the world tour while Germany could also provide some spark to be popular tourists around the coastal town.
Tournament organiser, Willem Strauss, is confirmed that moving the tourney to Swakopmund would make more sense since the tourney is co-sponsored by the Swakopmund Dome, a new world-class facility in the beautiful coastal town.
“I am sure participating teams from outside Namibia will be amazed by the facilities at the Dome and that the people of Swakopmund, and indeed from all over Namibia, would come in large numbers and support this festival of Sevens Rugby,” said Strauss.
He confirmed that the tourney would also include a club competition for local teams against visiting clubs such as Pretoria Harlequins and Ceres from South Africa.
To add more flavour to the two-day tourney, a Sevens schools tourney for three age groups is to run parallel with the international competition with age groups Under-17, Under-15 and Under-13’s in action.
There will also be a Rugby Skills Development programme with 400 kids between the ages of three and 12 participating in the event. Elizma Theron, the acting CEO of the NRU, says the tourney has the potential to boost the fortunes of Sevens Rugby in Namibia.