Experienced international Darryl De La Harpe will lead the FNB Welwitschias in Friday evening’s Vodacom Cup match against the Xerox Golden Lions in Windhoek. De La Harpe on Wednesday was named as captain of the side that includes no fewer than 13 players who have been capped for Namibia. The team also features the inclusion of two members of Namibia’s under twenty group, flyhalf Henrique Olivier and outside centre Lesley Klim. Welwitschias coach Henry Kemp said the team was selected with the focus on the development of Namibia based players “It will be a baptism of fire for those members of the team who have not played at a higher level but we are confident that they will make the step-up as we are looking to increase the depth of our player pool ahead of the Rugby World Cup later this year, “
Kemp, a former Bulls hooker and ex Namibian international Roger Thompson, assistant coaches of the senior national side, will guide the Welwitschias in the Vodacom Cup this year. The side will be known as the FNB Welwitschias and will play all their matches in Windhoek. After extensive trials a group of 32 players were named last week from which the match 22 was selected. Kemp said they had their work cut out getting the group to function as a unit “We had six weeks to prepare and it took a lot of hard work to establish the system and game plan. Some players were used to functioning as individuals and getting them used to a team environment was the major focus of this period.”
The NRU’s technical advisers, former Welsh internationals Phil Davies and Wayne Proctor, have also assisted with the team’s preparation for the match against the Xerox Golden Lions. “ Phil and Wayne were incredible in the manner in which they assisted us with technical analysis, fitness and training as well as game plan preparation. Their experience and insight has been invaluable for us as coaches and players.” said Kemp.
The FNB Welwitschias have been drawn in the Northern Section of the Vodacom Cup along with the Limpopo Bulls, the Griffons, Valke, Leopards, Pumas, Blue Bulls and Golden Lions. All 7 matches will be staged at the Hage Geingob Stadium in the Namibian capital.
Namibia’s national broadcaster, the NBC has also announced that Friday evening’s match will be televised live at 19:00 on NBC 3, with a replay of the match on NBC later in the evening.
The FNB Welwitschias team to play the Xerox Golden Lions (* denotes capped player)
15. Russell van Wyk.
12. Darryl de la Harpe * (Captain)
11. Johann Tromp *
10. Henrique Olivier
9. Arthur Bouwer *
8. Zana Botes
7. Stef Botha *
6. Thomasau Forbes *
5. Morné Blom *
4. Ulrich Engels
3. Andries Rousseau.
2. Rathony Becker *
1. Quintin Esterhuizen * (vice-captain)
Replacements: DG Wiese *, Jaco Engels *, Muniovita Kasiringua *, Morton van Kradenburg, Eneill Buitendag *, Shawn Kaizemi *, Justin Nel *.