Plymouth joins Welcome Ceremony for Namibian rugby team


Photo © James Findlay LRPS (Left to right) PJ van Lill, Liz Slater, Raoul Larson, Councillor Smith, Theuns Kotze, Conrad Marais, Rohan Kitshoff, Anthony Payne and Councillor Tuffin at the Welcome Ceremony

Photo © James Findlay LRPS
(Left to right) PJ van Lill, Liz Slater, Raoul Larson, Councillor Smith, Theuns Kotze, Conrad Marais, Rohan Kitshoff, Anthony Payne and Councillor Tuffin at the Welcome Ceremony

Members of the consortium that secured Plymouth as an official Rugby World Cup Team Base for Namibia were presented with plaques at the team’s official Welcome Ceremony on Thursday September 17.

The ceremony at Hampton Court Palace was one of 20 hosted at historic and iconic venues across England and Wales to welcome all the teams taking part in the Tournament.

Tournament Organisers England Rugby 2015 invited Plymouth’s consortium partners in recognition of the hard work they have put into preparing for Rugby World Cup 2015 and for providing training facilities.

Namibia will be based in Plymouth while they prepare for their two fixtures at Exeter’s Sandy Park on Tuesday September 29 (against Tonga) and Wednesday October 7 (against Georgia).

During their stay they will have access to facilities at the Brickfields, the Plymouth Life Centre and the University of St Mark & St John, as well as a 3G pitch near HMS Drake (managed by the Royal Navy Rugby Union).

Namibia’s team captain Jacques Burger presented all of the Plymouth venues with Team Base plaques at Thursday’s ceremony, after the players and management were awarded their Rugby World Cup 2015 participation caps and medals.

The ceremony featured a performance of the official Rugby World Cup anthem, World in Union, by the Chase Bridge Primary School Choir from Twickenham.

Guests from Plymouth included Deputy Council Leader Peter Smith; Councillor Ian Tuffin (Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care); Anthony Payne (our Strategic Director for Place); Liz Slater (our Leisure Partnership Manager), Stan Cinnamond (Director of Sport at the University of St Mark & St John), Nigel Rowe MBE (Governor of the University of St Mark & St John) and Dr Pat McGovern from Plymouth Albion Rugby Football Club.

Councillor Smith said: “Plymouth’s selection as an official Rugby World Cup 2015 Team Base was the result of our strong sporting credentials and effective partnership working and it’s great to see this recognised. We look forward to welcoming the Namibian players and officials to Plymouth later this week.”