Namibia’s premier Rugby Sevens tournament, known as the ‘Safland Sevens’ will be hosted at Swakopmund next month.
This tournament is one of the most significant activities on the rugby calendar this year, as it invites international teams to take part in the competition, the Namibia Rugby Union acting chief executive officer Elizma Theron told The Villager Sport.
“This tournament has the potential to boost Sevens rugby in Namibia. We saw the massive boost that the Olympic Games had on the already popular Sevens game, and if this tournament could help us get the games in 2020 then it will be worth it,” Theron said.
She adds that these games will see the world class Sevens outfits in action on Namibian ground.
Invitations have been extended to the national teams from Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho, Uganda, Kenya, Mauritius, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Czech Republic who will make their Safland Sevens debut at Swakopmund, following in the footsteps of Germany and Poland who attended the previous tournaments.
With the World Rugby Sevens Series due to kick off three weeks from now in Dubai, the tournament will serve as an ideal platform for some World Series teams to hone their skills.
This will also offer Namibia Sevens coach Jurie Booysen the opportunity to test his team against some the best Sevens players in the world.
South Africa who is currently the World Series Champion has also won the previous two Sevens tournaments.
Speaking at the press briefing today, Booysen has recapped that there was a need to host this tournament to keep the players fit in preparation for all the upcoming games.
“We look forward to hosting the athletes and the fans, and we have an experienced team that can take part in international games.
"We are preparing for what so ever tournament that we may not take part in part we are also taking part to win not just for preparation,” Booysen said.
The Chief Executive Officer of Safland Kallie van der Merwe, declined to share the total costs of the tournament, although the amount will be revealed at a later stage.
“We are not yet ready to say how much we have pumped into this tournament yet but what will soon reveal the amount but this year is a big year for us and we view our involvement in the Safland Sevens as our way of giving something back to the country.
“What Namibia do not have in population numbers can abundantly be made up for the combination of bulk and speed that we can field in Sevens rugby,” he said.