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Suburbs Host Inaugural FNB Windhoek Sevens Tournament

A player from Robertson Rangers in action against Western Suburbs during their 40th anniversary celebrations in 2019.
Western Suburbs will host the inaugural FNB Windhoek Sevens tournament at the Hage Geingob Stadium this weekend although top clubs FNB Wanderers and Trustco United will not be competing. Suburbs chairman and tournament organiser Keith Allies said he was disappointed with their withdrawals.

“Wanderers and United withdrew, they said they are preparing for the league, but I find it strange that they both withdrew within five minutes of each other. We participated in their club tournaments, but now they are not playing in ours. Wanderers and Suburbs are both sponsored by FNB and one would expect them to play in an FNB sponsored tournament,” he said.

“But we will continue and make it a success,” he added. Wanderers coach Vince Dreyer, however, said the main reason they withdrew was due to a spate of injuries in the season-opening Trustco United Tens and FNB Wanderers Sevens tournaments.

“We picked up a lot of injuries at United's tournament and several more last weekend, and now we have about 12 or 13 players who are unavailable. We didn't want to enter weakened teams, and we will rather prepare for the Premier League title which is our main aim in our centenary year,” he said.

Kudus from Walvis Bay have also not entered for the tournament, but the rest of the top clubs will compete in Premier League, which includes Suburbs, Unam, Reho Falcon and Rehoboth. The Audim Dream Team from Boland in South Africa will also be competing after first making contact with Suburbs last year.

The team is made up of players from Robertson Rangers and Rawsonville Barbarians, who travelled to Windhoek last year to participate in Suburbs' 40th anniversary celebrations. Robertson Rangers gave a fine performance then, losing narrowly 36-29 to Suburbs in the final, and with their fleet-footed players they could make an impact this weekend.

Seven teams will contest the First League, namely St Lou, Reho Falcon II, Western Suburbs II, Eastern Bulls, Okahandja, Unam II and Rehoboth II, while there will also be a women's competition, involving Unam, Rehoboth, the Okahandja Huskeys and Blue Rose from Walvis Bay, Allies, meanwhile, said they plan to make it an annual event with international stature.

“We have informed the Namibia Rugby Union and the Namibia Sport Commission and are aiming to get international status for the Windhoek Sevens. We will hold it next year again when we hope to also have teams from Zimbabwe and Zambia competing,” he said. The competition will start at 18h30 at the Hage Geingob rugby stadium on Friday and will continue at 08h00 on Saturday, with the final scheduled for 20h20 on Saturday.
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