Namibia's post-RWC chaos
Rugby in Namibia is in chaos with nobody to run it. The whole Executive has resigned.
Months before the Rugby World Cup, the President of the Namibian Rugby Union, Buks Bock of Reheboth, made it known that he would not be going to New Zealand for the World Cup and that he would not be standing for re-election. He clearly did not find his Executive Members supportive.
The rest of the Executive climbed aboard the gravy train and headed for New Zealand where the Namibian team won many accolades for their performances. Back they came to Windhoek and resigned en masse. The Annual General Meeting with its elections was scheduled for the morning of Saturday, 5 November 2011. They resigned just before 17.00 on Thursday evening and the clubs were informed. The AGM did not take place. No AGM has subsequently taken place. The only administration the NRU has is its acting CEO Christo Alexander who sits in solitary splendour at the stadium.
The government sports commission has told rugby to get its affairs in order. The way forward may well come from the clubs who, after all, make up the union.
An obvious casualty of the situation was the Africa Cup. Namibia withdrew from that and so did impoverished Morocco, leaving just Tunisia and Kenya whose match thus became a final, which Kenya won.
The NRU has no money, it seems, and neither the players nor the coach, Johan Diergaardt. That has not deterred Diergaardt, whose contract runs till December, from choosing a practice squad for the Vodacom Cup, the South African provincial competition which runs parallel to the Super 15 and which includes Namibia.
Namibia have again been invited to take part.
The nickname for the Namibian side is the Welwitchias. The welwitchia is a living fossil. Will that be the fate of Namibian rugby as well? It's all so sad especially after the fine performance of the Welwitchias at the World Cup, especially their charismatic captain Jacques Burger who is in England playing for Saracens, the English champions. Burger was named Namibia's Sportsman of the Year for 2011.
Namibia has sent out an SOS or, in Afrikaans, an ROR - Red Ons Rugby (Save our Rugby).
* The practice group that started on Monday at the Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek, contains the names of several players who were at the World Cup.
The Namibian practice squad: Munee Tjiueza, Pieter Jan van Lill, Shaun van Rooi, Danie van Wyk, Hauta Veii, Tinus Venter, Husceit Visagie, Godwin Walters, Llewellyn Winkler, Russel van Wyk, Adriaan (Attie) du Plessis, Shaun Esterhuizen, Nico Esterhuyse, Robert Herridge, Muniovita Kasiringua, Heinz Koll, Tertius Losper, Justin Nel, Bertus O'Callaghan, David Philander, Johnny Redelinghuys, Kallie Swanepoel, Joseph Adriaanse, Jan Adriaanse, Morné Blom, Heini Bock, Jacky Bock, Arthur Bouwer, Daryl de la Harpe, Sergio de la Harpe, Tinus du Plessis, Roger Thompson, Ismael du Plessis, Bradley Langenhoven.
* Loose forward Tinus du Plessis has signed to play for London Wasps till May 2012 with an option to sign for the next two years.