Former captain Jacques Burger has made some telling comments about the state of Namibian rugby following a restructure of the national setup.
This comes after Brenden Nel shared the news on Twitter that “Namibian rugby is in a bit of a quagmire. NRU have taken over and the World Rugby funded Namibian Rugby Limited is no more. So no more foreign coaches, and prospect of funding gone because of infighting.
“Future looks dark.”
These events coincide with the departure of Phil Davies as head coach, a position that he held since 2015, who has teamed up with Yorkshire Carnegie.
While the future remains unclear for Namibia, the 36-cap flanker Burger has also weighed in on these events on Twitter, saying: “That’s the main reason I didn’t take the job as defensive coach for RWC19. Too many people in it for the free trips and buffets.”
— Jacques Burger (@Nabasboer) January 5, 2020
This is a damning assessment from the former Saracens loose forward, although it is clearly a problem for all nations in rugby, regardless of their status. The Rugby Football Union has been criticised in the past for similar problems, but has perhaps had the financial security to cope. Such a fracture in a smaller rugby nation could be more problematic, and that is why there is some concern.
The most distressing thing for Namibia is that this comes just after a promising Rugby World Cup.
Although the African nation did not win a game, they were entering their final pool stage match against Canada as many people’s favourite. This would have brought them their first win at the tournament ever, but the match was unfortunately cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis.
Not only would Namibia have benefited from the services of Burger, who represented his country at three RWCs and is probably the country’s greatest export, in Japan, but these further problems have been exposed since then.
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