Stevens excited by the American dream
By Michael Uugwanga
ONE of the country’s rugby prodigies, Damian Stevens is excited after signing up with major league rugby club NOLA Gold in the United States of America after a difficult stay in South Africa at Sharks Rugby Club where he struggled to get game time.
Stevens has signed a three-year contract which sees him becoming the first Namibian rugby player to play professional rugby in a major league which is seen as one of the fastest-growing in the world.
At 25, Stevens has already played at two successive rugby world cups for Namibia, the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England and last year’s world cup in Japan.
Speaking to Confidente Sport, an excited Stevens said the move is a step in the right direction and that he is going to America to showcase his rugby talent after months waiting for such a move due to the pandemic.
Stevens who was born in Walvis Bay said he has developed into a better player than when he was at 20 at the 2015 Rugby World Cup while playing for the development team of Western Province Rugby Club.
He started his career with the Cape Town-based club, before moving to Sharks in 2016.
Stevens’ last club was Olimpia Lions in Paraguay, the same club that has another Namibian in Max Katjijeko.
At the 2019 Rugby World Cup, he scored 14 points: Namibia’s opening try against Italy and nine points (from penalties) against New Zealand.
“I am super excited to go to the US and play rugby which is developing so much especially after this lockdown as it is a breakthrough and something to look forward to. My objective is to try bring positivity and energy into play. I just want to play at the best of my ability once I get there and express myself and enjoy every moment,” he said.
Stevens is already seen as a future captain of Namibia’s men senior side the Welwitschias, and ever since the 2015 World Cup he has been a regular starter for the national team.
“The 2015 World Cup was a learning curve for me and it was also a great time for me to develop as I was very young and did not play lots of senior matches at both national team and club level. The 2019 World Cup was for me the best in my career.”