Redelinghuys becomes first Namibian to earn win 50 caps

Windhoek: Welwitschias prop forward Johnnie Redelinghuys became the first Namibian rugby player to earn 50 caps for his native land after he was named in the match for Namibia’s final Pool C match against Argentina on day 23 of the Rugby World Cup in Leicester yesterday.

The 31-year-old owner of a construction company won his first cap for Namibia on the September 9, 2006 against Kenya in Nairobi. Redelinghuys was named on the bench for the match and said it was a huge honour to become the first Namibian player to reach this milestone.

“I’m really looking forward to the match. It’s an incredible honour to play 50 tests for my country and it will also be my last. I owe it to my family to spend time with them. Before this I had very little time for them between traveling to training and work. I feel it’s the right time to go, and I will do so with wonderful memories.” Yesterday’s match was Redelinghuys’ 11th appearance in an IRB Rugby World Cup match, equaling the record for Namibia held by Jacques Burger and Hugo Horn. Namibia head coach Phil Davies said there was not a player more deserving of the honour than Redelinghuys.

“I got to know Johnnie well over the last 12 months. His commitment to Namibian rugby has been incredible, given his personal circumstances. Many times he leaves home at 04h00 in the morning to be at training at 05h00. Then after a full day’s work, he drives hundreds of kilometres from a construction site to be at the evening training sessions. I thank him for this and wish him all the very best for the match.”

Following the outcome of the disciplinary hearing of Renaldo Bothma and his two-week suspension, as well as a number of late fitness concerns, Davies was also forced to make a number of adjustments to the initial 23-man squad named for yesterday’s final match. Bothma’s place on the bench was taken by Russel van Wyk, while scrumhalf Eneill Buitendag, was also ruled out.

His place was taken by Damian Stevens, who was set to make his first start at this year’s IRB Rugby World Cup. Prop Raoul Larson has not recovered from an injury and dropped out of the match day 23. Johannes Coetzee started at tight-head with AJ de Klerk coming onto the substitutes’ bench.

Rohan Kitshoff was given the distinct honour of skippering the squad in the absence of Jacques Burger, who was ruled out after he was injured in the match against Georgia.

Welwtischias squad against Argentina:

15. Chrysander Botha (Exeter Chiefs, England))

14. Johan Tromp (Wanderers, Windhoek)

13. JC Greyling (Old Wesley College,Ireland)

12. Johan Deysel (NWU-Pukke, Leopards)

11. Conrad Marais (Beziers, France)

10. Theuns Kotzè (Union Sportive Bressane)

9. Damian Stevens (UWC, South Africa)

8. Leneve Damens (Wanderers, Namibia)

7. Wian Conradie (UJ, South Africa)

6. Rohan Kitshoff(c) (Wanderers, Namibia)

5. Tjiuee Uanivi (Brive, Fr)

4. Janco Venter (US, South Africa)

3. Johannes Coetzee (Free State Cheetahs, South Africa)

2. Torsten van Jaarsveld

(Free State Cheetahs, South Africa)

1. Jaco Engels (United, Namibia)

Replacements

16. Louis van der Westhuizen

(NWU Pukke-Leopards, South Africa)

17. Johnnie Redelinghuys

(Wanderers, South Africa)

18. AJ de Klerk (US, South Africa)

19. Pieter-Jan van Lill

(Bayonne, France)

20. Tinus du Plessis (Wanderers, Namibia)

21. Russel van Wyk (Western Suburbs, Namibia)

22. Eugene Jantjies (Faral Constanta, Romania)

23. Heinrich Smit (NWU Pukke-Leopards, South Africa)