Rugby dealt serious blow

10 June 2021 | Sports

Windhoek ∙ [email protected]

Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) president Corrie Mensah says they have requested the Rugby Gold Cup Pool A competition to be postponed and have also decided to pull out Namibia from Kenya’s Barthes Trophy tournament.

This he said after having two meetings last week with sport minister Agnes Tjongarero.

Mensah said the purpose of the meetings were to inform the minister about the consequences for rugby regarding the June contact sports ban and possible solutions for the crises the sport code faces.

No exception

The outcome of the meetings, according to Mensah, is that the status quo will remain and no exceptions will be made towards a specific sport code.

As a result, NRU has asked that the Gold Cup Pool A tournament, which was scheduled for 1 to 12 July, be pushed to November, with Namibia to remain as host.

This despite general manager of Rugby Africa (RA) Coralie van der Berg queries on whether the ban will be lifted by 1 July. “Neither the NRU nor the Namibian government are in a position to issue such a guarantee,” Mensah responded.

NRU also notified RA to, under the prevailing conditions in the country, withdraw the under-20 team from the Barthes Trophy competition and to cancel the planned historic national women’s team match against Zimbabwe.

“The government has great understanding and empathy with the dilemma NRU finds itself in, but obvious considerations for our government is the health and well-being of each citizen,” Mensah said.

He added that withdrawing the U-20s from the tourney is the logical thing to do for the mere reason that the team will not be able to train and prepare properly.

Get the jab

Furthermore, he urged all administrators, players and spectators to get vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus as soon as possible.

“We as the rugby community should go beyond merely hoping that no one gets infected. Getting vaccinated should be done not only to protect oneself, but also to safeguard family, officials, teammates and fellow spectators.

“This news will come as a great disappointment to all involved in rugby, especially the players, but I wish to all urge all players to continue with strength and conditioning training and to see to it that fitness remains at a level that is required to represent Namibia on the international stage.”

He added that the union will inform all clubs on the revised fixtures for all domestic competitions as soon as the ban on contact sports is lifted.