Vermeulen Rings the Changes for Romania Clash

Namibian rugby coach Danie Vermeulen has rung the changes for their second Nations Cup match against the hosts Romania in Bucharest on Wednesday evening, after announcing a total of six changes and three positional changes for the match.

Namibia will be looking for their first win in the competition after suffering a comprehensive 30-10 defeat against the Argentina Jaguars in their opening match last Friday. But they will find the going tough against the hosts, Romania, who also got off to a convincing start after beating Spain 35-9 on Friday.

There are wholesale changes amongst the forwards with only eighthman and captain PJ van Lill, lock Nico Esterhuizen and prop Casper Viviers remaining from Friday’s match.

Viviers switches from loose-head to tight-head in place of Aranos Coetzee, while Johnny Redelinghuys comes in at loose-head.

Callie Swanepoel replaces DG Wiese at hooker, while Janco Venter moves from flank to lock, where he replaces Tjiuee Uanivi.

In the back row, Thomasau Forbes comes in for Venter, while Tinus du Plessis is a late withdrawal due to a hamstring injury and is replaced by Leneve Damens.

Amongst the backs, Shawn Kaizemi comes in at flyhalf for Theuns Kotze, Conrad Marais comes in at left wing in place of David Philander, who in turn, replaces Russel van Wyk on the right wing.

The only players that remain from the team that took on the Argentina Jaguars are Casper Viviers, Janco Venter, Nico Esterhuizen, PJ van Lill, Eugene Jantjies, JC Greyling, Danie van Wyk, David Philander and Johan Tromp.

According to reports, Namibia gave a competitive display against the Jaguars, but were ultimately outplayed in all departments, with the Jaguars running in four tries to Namibia’s one.

Namibia’s forwards have been struggling of late and they will have to win enough possession to set a platform from which their dangerous backline can attack.

In their 22-14 victory against Tunisia on 6 June, Namibia’s forwards struggled in the set-pieces, with Namibia losing four line-outs on their own throw, and this is an area that they will have to improve upon.

Although first choice flyhalf Theuns Kotze is rested for Wednesday night’s match, his replacement Shawn Kaizemi, is a natural attacker and with speedsters like David Philander and Conrad Marais on the wings, and Johan Tromp at fullback, Namibia certainly have the pace and attacking flair to test Romania’s defence.

Romania, however, have a g pack of big forwards and a match winner in flyhalf Florin Vlaicu, who scored 20 points in their 35-9 win against Spain.

Namibia’s match against Romania will start at 19h00 (Namibian time) on Wednesday, and will be preceded by the encounter between the Argentina Jaguars and Spain at 16h00.

Namibia, meanwhile, remain 22nd in the world according to the latest international rankings released by World Rugby on Tuesday. Their opponents on Wednesday, Romania, are ranked 18th, while Spain, whom they face in their final group match on Sunday, drop one place to 21st in the world.

The Namibian team for Wednesday night’s match against Romania is as follows:

Johnny Redelinghuys, Callie Swanepoel, Casper Viviers, Janco Venter, Nico Esterhuizen, Thomasau Forbes, Leneve Damens, PJ van Lill (captain), Eugene Jantjies, Shawn Kaizemi, Conrad Marais, JC Greyling, Danie van Wyk, David Philander and Johan Tromp.

The substitutes are DG Wiese, Jaco Engels, AJ de Klerk, Tjiuee Uanivi, Victor Rodrigues, Eniell Buitendag, Theuns Kotze and Heinrich Smit.

Source : The Namibian