Wednesday 14 April 2021
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Welwitschias face off against the Springboks tomorrow

The sibling rivalry between SA and Namibia is about to take a backseat as Namibia and South Africa square off in Toyota, Japan for their Rugby World Cup clash.
The last time these two teams met at a World Cup was in 2011 where South Africa walloped Namibia with a score of 87-0.
South African coach Rassie Erasmus is resting thirteen of the team that lost 23-13 to the All Blacks last Saturday.
“This gives us an ideal opportunity to rest guys who are vital for us in the big, big games. It is a vital opportunity to get a guy like Siya (Kholisi) twenty to thirty minutes off the bench, while also resting guys like Pieter-Steph (du Toit) and Duane (Vermeulen)”, Erasmus said at a press conference on Wednesday.
On his part, Jaco Engels, scrum coach for the Welwitschias is excited to play against some players whom he used to play rugby with while in South Africa.
He is excited about the opportunity to get back together with his ‘brothers’ from South Africa this weekend but knows that at the first whistle all bets are off.
Engels played front row forward and went on to play club rugby for the Blue Bulls, featuring in squads that won Currie Cup and Super Rugby titles while in Pretoria and now he is part of head coach Phil Davies’s backroom staff.
This gives him insider knowledge on former teammates and coaches in the South Africans’ set-up.
“I know them quite well,” Engels said on Tuesday at the team’s hotel.
“I played against Rassie (Erasmus), I played with their backline coach Mzwandile Stick at the Kings and with their forwards coach Matt Proudfoot in my younger days at the Leopards.
Matt is also from Potchefstroom. He actually helped me to play prop. He taught me a lot of stuff, so we know each other quite well.”
Namibia and South Africa have a cordial relationship, according to Engels.
“They always look at us as a little brother,” he said.
They look after us. They always try to help us by inviting us to participate in their competitions. Some of our guys play in South Africa, and a lot of us have studied there.
There’s always been a close relationship.
The economies are linked. We speak the same language.
Namibia is a lot more relaxed, but it’s the same type of people, the same type of values.”
He continues, “my father grew up in Namibia, so I’ve always been made aware that I’m a Namibian. There are certain values you grow up with.
Obviously, the main one is loving meat. I’ve always loved beer, too, specifically Namibian beer. It’s a loyalty thing.”
With the Springboks after a third World Cup and the Welwitschias hard pressed to avoid another heavy defeat at the hands of the South Africans.
Schalk Brits is named captain for South African team and will play in the position of hooker for the match.
“He is experienced and will have a calming factor on the guys who are almost the fringe players.
They have been working really hard and haven’t really had game time for a couple of weeks now. He will have that effect on them and hopefully that will come through versus Namibia,” Erasmus said.
“The boys will greet each other nicely. There’s a mutual respect there. But between those four lines, it’s war.
They have a lot of player depth, and their A or their B team is always dangerous. You can never underestimate them. We know what’s coming.
It’s going to be a game of attrition. After that, they can shake a few hands, hopefully, have a few beers.
But like every game, there are no friends on the field. Never,” said Engels.

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