Rugby Squad for Nations Cup

The Namibian rugby selectors have named a 27-member squad that will leave for Romania next week to compete in the Nations Cup.

Namibia will play against the hosts Romania, Spain and Argentina Jaguars at the Nations Cup, while they will also play against Tunisia in an Africa Cup match, en route to Romania.

The Namibian team consists mostly of locally-based players since the tournament does not fall in the release period of World Rugby, which will only commence on 1 July.

Namibia’s players based in England, Jacques Burger and Chrysander Botha, have therefore not been released as several players in South Africa, including Renaldo Bothma, Rohan Kitshoff, Johan Deysel, Thorsten van Jaarsveld and Danie Dames.

Several Namibians playing club rugby in France are however available since the French leagues have been concluded. They include eighthman PJ van Lill, flyhalf Theuns Kotze, lock Tjiuee Uanivi and prop Aranos Coetzee and wing Conrad Marais.

David Philander, who plays centre and wing, has also been released by his club in New Zealand and has been selected for the tour.

Of the local players, Western Suburbs centre Darryl de la Harpe is unavailable due to injury, while fullback Justin Nel is unfortunate not to make the final squad. Nel had a fine Vodacom Cup series, and also won the man of the match award against the Griffons when he scored two tries.

The CEO of the Namibia Rugby Union Sybrand de Beer said he was excited about the squad and is looking forward to a good performance in Romania.

“I am excited about this squad and I think they can do well at the Nations Cup. There are quite a number of experienced players while the Vodacom Cup also helped to prepare our local players for the tour,” he said.

“The players have been working hard on their conditioning and fitness for the past three weeks and I think the tour will give us a good opportunity to experiment before the World Cup. If we can win at least two of our matches I will be satisfied,” he added.

In the Nations Cup, Namibia will play Argentina on 12 June Romania on 17 June and Spain on 21 June. They will play Tunisia on 6 June en route to Romania.

According to De Beer, Russia will also tour Namibia in July for a two-match test series on 11 and 18 July.

“The release period of World Rugby will come in effect in July so all our players will be available for Russia’s tour,” he said.

The Namibian squad is as follows:

Forwards:

Jaco Engels, Johnny Redelinghuys, Rathony Becker, DG Wiese, Aranos Coetzee, AJ de Klerk, Callie Swanepoel, Casper Viviers, Nico Esterhuyse, Janco Venter, Tjiuee Uanivi, Thomasau Forbes, Leneve Damens, Tinus du Plessis, Roderique Victor, PJ van Lill.

Backs:

Eniell Buitendag, Eugene Jantjies, Shawn Kaizemi, Theuns Kotze, Johan Tromp, JC Greyling, Danie van Wyk, Heinrich Smit, Conrad Marais, David Philander, Russel van Wyk.

Source : The Namibian