By Sports Reporter
TEAM Germany is expected to be a very popular – and competitive – side in the second annual Safland Sevens rugby tournament to be held in Swakopmund on the weekend of November 12 and 13.
Event organiser, Willem Strauss said in a media release that Germany has accepted the invitation alongside the national teams of Namibia, South Africa, United States, Zambia, Kenya, Zimbabwe and others who will be testing their skills in the upcoming spectacle.
He said with the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series due to kick off three weeks later in Dubai, all will be looking to impress at the Namibian coastal town.
Strauss said many casual observers might still under-estimate the culture that the game of rugby (as well as sevens) have built up in Germany over the last number of years.
However, their sevens team has already earned the respect of those in the know narrowly missing out on Olympic qualification, among other notable performances over the last two years.
Germany sevens team manager Manuel Wilhelm was there when the national sevens programme began three years ago, setting up a national team training base in Heidelberg.
“At the beginning we got together about 20 players to start the programme, all amateurs and students, but we at least managed to get a good training routine where they would train every day before going to work or university.
“We had boys move to Heidelberg from all around Germany for the chance to be part of the programme,” said Wilhelm.
Germany’s fourth-place finish at the 2016 Olympic Repechage tournament in Monaco was another good indication of its standing in the international game.
Regarding the team’s preparation for the trip to Namibia, Wilhelm said: “Our boys just started training again two weeks ago. The Safland Sevens will be the first time they’ll be back playing after the European Grand Prix Series in July.
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