Namibia will face Canada in Colwyn Bay in northern Wales on November 7 the Welsh Rugby Union have confirmed.
The venue, home to Wales Under 20 for the past three seasons, is becoming a regular fixture on the international circuit, with the match following last season’s Test between Japan and Russia and the five-team international series in 2012.
The match will kick off a key preparation period for Canada ahead of Rugby World Cup 2015 – their opening game against Ireland will kick off the Millennium Stadium Rugby World Cup action on September 19.
All Canada’s top players are expected to be part of the line-up against Namibia, including former Scarlet Jamie Cudmore, now at Clermont Auvergne, Glasgow’s DTH van der Merwe and London Irish lock Jebb Sinclair.
Canada currently sit in 17th place in the world rankings with Namibia in 22nd place.
Former Scarlets and Blues head coach Phil Davies has recently spent time with the Namibian coaching team as part of an IRB remit to help prepare Tier Two sides for Rugby World Cup – and could remain linked to the side in the build-up for next year’s tournament.
“It was a case of working closely with the coaches on their planning, coaching delivery and principals of play looking at the year ahead,” he sdaid
Some of Namibia’s best known players include Sarances back row Jacques Burger and Exeter Chiefs full back Chrysander Botha, along with a contingent of players in South Africa’s Currie Cup. Head coach, former Dax prop Danie Vermeulen has just completed a trial weekend and is determined to put down a marker in the Canada game.
“A number of players put their hands up for selection for the end of year squad and Rugby World Cup. We don’t want to make excuses. Canada is a key target for us,” he said.
Cllr Graham Rees, Conwy’s Cabinet Member for Tourism, Marketing and Leisure added:
“We’re proud that we’ve been able to secure this exciting fixture for Eirias, Colwyn Bay. This time next year these two teams will be competing in the Rugby World Cup with worldwide television audiences of millions, this is a wonderful opportunity for rugby fans to come along and support national first teams playing on our doorstep.”
“It’s clear there are many fans and enthusiastic spectators here in North Wales and we’re pleased to be able to offer the facilities for everyone to enjoy top flight rugby.”