UNITED rugby coach Robbie Dickson has been appointed caretaker coach of the national rugby team for three months.
The Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) announced the news yesterday saying they hoped to appoint a full time coach as soon as possible, and that Dickson would serve as a caretaker coach until the recruitment process has been finalised.
“Robbie Dickson, the current coach of United Rugby Club, was identified to temporarily serve as the on-field coach for the players participating in the High Performance programme. His enthusiasm and success as coach at United is outstanding, while he was also previously involved with the national Sevens team for two years,” the NRU said in a statement.
The national squad has been without a coach since December last year when Johan Diergaardt resigned after differences with the NRU.
The CEO of the NRU, Theo Grünewald said that the process of appointing a permanent coach will be done in conjunction with World Rugby.
“According to World Rugby stipulations, the national coach has to have a Level Three coaching license and at the moment only Johan Diergaardt and Henry Kemp in Namibia have that. We will advertise the position later and will appoint a full-time coach within three months, but Robbie will take charge of the national squad for the time being,” he said.
Dickson has played a major role in United’s revival and in 2019 led them to their first senior league title in five years when they beat Unam 44-42 in the final.
Grünewald said that Dickson had already started coaching the national squad, but that their local programme would only become clearer later.
Ät the moment we have to adhere to the government’s Covid 19 regulations which limit sport meetings to 50 people, which is not enough to allow matches to take place. So we hope that the government will ease that restriction, even to 100, which will be enough to stage matches,” he said.
Grünewald said the local club rugby league still had to be approved at the NRU’s annual general meeting scheduled for the end of March, but emphasised the NRU’s commitment to host the Africa Cup Pool A matches in Windhoek in July.
Namibia will compete in a pool against Madagascar and the Ivory Coast, with the top two teams in each pool qualifying for the 2022 Africa Cup, which is the final qualifier for the 2023 World Cup.
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Calling u20 players
The NRU, meanwhile, reaffirmed Namibia’s participation at the u20 Barthes Trophy to be staged in Nairobi from 25 March to 4 April, where Namibia, Kenya, Senegal and Madagascar will battle it out for a place at the Junior World Trophy in September.
In a press release issued yesterday, the NRU said that national trials will be held on the weekend of 19 and 20 February, and called on eligible players, born between 1 January 2001 and 31 December 2002, to come forward.
“Schools and clubs were invited to nominate eligible players that are skilful and have the determination to play for our national u20 team. Since no official rugby was played during 2020, players are encouraged to make contact with their school or club coaches so that they can be nominated to be included in the u20 training group,” it read.
It added that the deadline for submissions is tomorrow, 5 February.
Ït will be highly appreciated if the union could briefly be advised on the achievements as well as the players’ positions. Nominations can be sent to the team manager of the u20 team Jacky Husselmann at [email protected] before the end of business on 5 February,” it said.