Welwitschias Ready to Rumble On Foreign Soil

Namibian rugby ‘Wunderkind’ Jacques Burger, is to make his long overdue return for the Welwitschias when he leads his native land against Canada in the Windhoek Draught Northern Hemisphere Safari in Colway Bay on Friday.

Coach Danie Vermeulen has rung wholesale changes to the squad that saw off Germany by 58 points to 20 to wrap up their preparation in Windhoek, last week.

Saracens loose-forward, Burger, will skipper the side in his first appearance for his motherland since the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

He replaces Thomasua Forbes in a number of positional changes that sees Tinus du Plessis shifting from eighth-man to the side of the scrum at the expense of Rohan Kitshoff who drops to the substitutes bench while France based PJ van Lill gets a start in his familiar number 8 jersey.

Vermeulen says the changes are just a mere rotational policy than current form. “We are delighted to have Jacques back since joining the team he has made an immediate impact on the vibe in the squad. Jacques played 52-minutes for his English club Saracens against Harlequins over the weekend and he would like to give the tough a steak flanker as much game time as possible against Canada.

Veteran prop, Johnnie Redelinghuys, starts at loose-head, replacing Jaco Engels who can only join the team later this week. Upcoming rugby sensation Tjiuee Uanivi, gets the nod ahead of injured Nico Esterhuyse.

Eneill Buitendag starts at half-back pairing with Theuns Kotze. On the left wing David Philander starts ahead of Johan Tromp who drops to the bench. In other positional switch Danie Dames, shift from fullback, to right wing allowing Executer Chiefs fullback Chrysander Botha to slot in.

Franklin Bertholini of Windhoek United is the only uncapped player in the match 23 squad and is likely to earn his first cap coming off the bench.

According to Vermeulen, it is vital to give as many players as possible a run against Canada with three very tough matches still to come.

“We expect the Canadians to be extremely physical, we know we might probably pick up an injury or two, so we need to manage the players carefully to ensure we remain competitive in all our matches.”

Welwitschias line up: (number of caps in brackets, * denotes new cap.)

15. Chrysander Botha (28)

14. Danie Dames (10)

13. Darryl de la Harpe (22)

12. Johan Deysel (5)

11. David Philander (16)

10. Theuns Kotzeacute (17)

09. Eneill Buitendag (8)

08. PJ van Lill (31)

07. Jacques Burger (29)

06. Tinus du Plessis (39)

05. Tjiuee Uanive (1)

04. Morneacute Blom (13)

03. Andreacute Schlechter (10)

02. Torsten van Jaarsveld (1)

01. Johnnie Redelinghuys (41)

Reserves:

16. Rathony Becker (10)

17. Franklin Bertholini (*)

18. Casper Viviers (5)

19. Stefan Neustaumldt (6)

20. Rohan Kitshoff (17)

21. Ryan de la Harpe (7)

22. Shawn Kaizemi (2)

23. Johann Tromp (9)

Source : New Era