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Rugby at a standstill in Namibia: Burger.

Former National Rugby Team Captain Jacques Burger says Namibia performed extremely well in the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan but warned that everything had come to a standstill after the conclusion of the tournament.

Speaking exclusively to Nampa from his base in Stampriet recently, Burger said currently, not enough is going on in terms of development.

'We have done extremely well to qualify for six consecutive world cups. But nothing is being done to develop players, infrastructure technical and management personal at the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) offices' Burger said.

He added that Namibia surprised everyone with their performance against New Zealand but was critical of the way the team played against Italy and South Africa because they conceded easy tries.

'We have a lot of talent in this country, we must just do things right. We have less than 900 players while other countries have lots more than us,' he said.

He called on the stakeholders to put money into the sport adding that in Georgia money was put into the sport hence their team is doing extremely well.

Burger said the loss of head coach Phil Jones will have a massive negative impact for the national team.

'His departure is not good for us. He had a plan which if followed properly, we can win matches at the world cup. That should be our aim to win matches at the world cup,' he said.

He paid tribute to local players saying they have overachieved in the sport because of the fact that the sport is still in its amateur stages, while most countries are professional.

When questioned about the involvement of ex-players in the development of rugby in Namibia, Burger said the NRU is not opening up the doors for them.

'The way the NRU is run at the moment is not good for the growth of the game in Namibia. There is absolutely no development of the game in most parts of the country. The league is not as competitive as it is supposed to be. There is not enough going into the game from them (NRU),' he said.

The former captain said his heart was in developing future rugby stars, but ruled out working with the current administrators at NRU.

'I would like to get involved in development. I have seen so much talent in Namibia. I want to invest in youngsters who are coming through the ranks. I want to develop, grow and look after players that we have,' he said.

He added that his main aim is to see Namibia have a competitive local league, compete and win matches at the Currie Cup and the World Cup.

Burger spent seven years in England and one year in France, while playing for Namibia at three world cups before retiring three years ago because of several knee and shoulder injuries.

He currently lives in Stampriet with his family at their farm where they are into cattle, goat and sheep farming.

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Publication:The Namibia Press Agency NAMPA (Windhoek, Namibia)
Geographic Code:6NAMI
Date:Jan 27, 2020
Words:561
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