The University of Namibia (Unam) rugby team will make their second consecutive appearance at the annual University Sports South Africa (USSA) Varsity Rugby Cup that starts at the Wits Rugby Fields on Monday, July 2 and will see 32 teams in action.
Unam left for Johannesburg on Saturday to take their place in Pool B of the USSA Varsity Cup and will start their campaign with an opening fixture against Central University of Technology (CUT) on Monday morning.
In the other Pool B match Fort Hare University takes on Varsity College.
If Unam win their first game, they will take on the winner of the Fort Hare/College game on Wednesday morning and if they lose they will face the loser of the same match on Wednesday afternoon.
Unam will again get a chance to test themselves against the best of South African Varsity rugby as they will again get a game in the winners’ section or losers’ section of the USSA Varsity Shield Cup.
University of Johannesburg (UJ) are the defending champions, having beaten the Maties of Stellenbosch University 20-17 in the unofficial final at Wellington's Boland Stadium last July.
Unam were the big winners in Round Six of the MTC Rugby Premier League two weeks ago after a 38-24 victory against Dolphins to move joint top of the log on 17 points with Wanderers and United, and will use the USSA Varsity Cup experience to boost their season.
According to Werner Jeffery of Unam the team’s participation in the Varsity Cup could not have come at a better moment.
“We are joint top of the Premier League at home and we will use the SA tour to encourage the boys and also keep them fit and ready to come back and make sure we qualify for the rugby semifinals at home. We have set our target and we want to achieve them and achieve them well and this experience will be huge for the players,” he said.
Unam travelled without six of their regulars players, namely Cameron Klazen, John Drotsky, Webber Heckert, Elmo van der Byl, Simon Kanime and Tjiuii Uanivi, who all form part of the Tertiary Institutes Sports Association of Namibia (TISAN) Sevens Rugby team that will compete at the World Students Sevens Championships in Brive, France from July 7 to 14.
Unam will return home on July 8, before they take on Wanderers on July 21 in a top of the table clash, while they will also have to face another leading side United before the season is decided.
Meanwhile, the Tertiary Institutes Sports Association of Namibia (TISAN) netball team also left for Cape Town over the weekend to participate in the World Students Championships. Their first match is against Uganda on July 2.