The conflict between the NRL (Namibia Rugby League) and the NRU (Namibia Rugby Union), which threatened to place the Rugby World Cup participation for the country at risk. It looks like it’s going to have a happy ending.
The NRL and NRU have been at each other’s throats over who controls the national rugby team in Namibia as well as the day-to-day operation of the country’s beloved sport. World Rugby was contacted to intervene which managed to save the national rugby team, the Welwitschias, a trip to Japan after Corrie Mensah, the NRU president, refused to sign off on the national teams. The NRU president told several reporters that he had done to cause the Namibian Rugby League sidelined the union.
The Rugby Africa Conference
The impasse witnessed how the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the Namibian rugby team’s participation was in jeopardy for the 2019 Rugby World Cup that will take place in Japan. However, we now understand that World Rugby. Along with the NRL and NRU, have agreed on a compromise that will be announced next week following discussions between the two Namibian parties at the Rugby Africa
Conference that took place in Morocco recently.
“We have managed to find a way forward where we could successfully find solutions to the problems we were facing,” Mensah informed reporters. There was never a scenario where the Namibian rugby team couldn’t participate at the World Cup. It’s for this reason that we did everything we could to resolve the issues between the NRL and the NRU. Mensah added to his comments saying that, “The only issue that could have surfaced was if World Rugby decided to pull their financial support. Without their help, we never would have been able to travel to Japan for the World Cup. That was undoubtedly our biggest concern. However, preparations are going ahead, and the team is busy training, so everything is going according to plan for the 2019 World Cup.”
Issues Between the NRL and NRU
Mensah informed reporters that the problems between the NRL and the NRU began when the former NRU board developed the NRL, a newly registered company before the term came to an end. The old board decided to transfer the day-to-day operation to the NRL, leaving the new NRY board completely powerless.
“The biggest problem was for everyone to understand that the NRU needed to be in charge of the company,” Mensah stated. The NRL didn’t make any provision for the brand-new NRU officials to sit on the board or have any influence in the affairs of the NRL.”
Mensah stated that he had to sign off the rugby teams when the Africa Gold Cup was underway. Which also managed to serve as Rugby World Cup qualifiers for Africa as the NRL was not recognised by the NSC (Namibian Sports Council). If the rugby teams were not signed off, then Namibia wouldn’t have been part of the qualifiers. Namibia managed to win the Africa Gold Cup to qualify for the 6th successive Rugby World Cup successfully.