Namibia juniors out to defend Africa title

(IRB.COM) Monday 3 August 2009
 Namibia juniors out to defend Africa title
Namibia needed a last minute try to beat Kenya 22-17 in this year's IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy - Photo: Frankie Deges

Royal Otto will captain Namibia this week as they set out to retain their CAR (Confederation of African Rugby) Under 19 title in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi and qualify as Africa’s representative at next year’s IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy.

Namibia edged Zimbabwe 16-13 in last year’s final and went on to finish fifth in the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy in Kenya in April, matching their placing in the inaugural tournament in 2008, in Chile.

A number of the players who represented Namibia at the Junior World Rugby Trophy will return to Nairobi for the CAR Championship, including wing Russel van Wyk, props Henk Roets and Grant Kurz, flanker Waldo Schaefer and centre Ashwin Walters.

Andre de Klerk also played in Kenya and a month later created history by becoming the first schoolboy to represent the Namibian senior team, when he made his Test debut off the bench in their Rugby World Cup 2011 qualifier against Ivory Coast.

Namibia, who have won three of the last four African championships, are the top seeds for the eight-team event, which runs from 4-10 August.

They have been drawn in Pool A with Morocco, hosts Kenya and Zambia, while the 2006 champions Zimbabwe head Pool B and face opening ties against Tunisia, Uganda and Kenya B, who have replaced Ivory Coast.

In Tuesday's opening fixtures Namibia face Zambia and Morocco tackle Kenya in Pool A, while Zimbabwe take on Uganda and Tunisia face Kenya B at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa Grounds in Nairobi.

Namibia Under 19 squad: Forwards: Franklin Bertolini, Gert Henning, Henk Roets, Grant Kurz, Daniel van Vuuren, Karel van Heerden, Andre de Klerk, Jacob Mare, Munee Tjiueza, Jaco Wiese, Waldo Schaefer, Royal Otto (Captain). Backs: Johannes Tromp, Russel van Wyk, Chase Diergaardt, Richard Ockhuizen, Gift Kamundu, Ashwin Lee Walters, Johan Deysel, Timothy Koopman, Zirk Coetzee, Thomas van der Merwe, Shipopyeni Handuukeme, Pieter Jansen van Vuuren.