02 Sep 2019 17:20pm
WINDHOEK, 02 SEP (NAMPA) The Namibia Rugby Union on Monday announced a 31-man squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup which takes place in Japan from 20 September until 02 November.
Speaking to Nampa at the squad announcement in Windhoek, head coach Phil Davies said this was one of the most difficult selections he has had to make.
We based our selection criteria on the tier one playing standards. We had quite a clear process and it was very difficult to get to 31 as we had 38 for most of the time. I believe the players we chose are the best players that we have in terms of the best combinations, Davies said.
He added that the squad has been in the making for the past four years.
The coach said the previous world cup in England in 2015 allowed Namibia to set a few milestones, hence they would want to improve on them.
Namibia lost to Georgia by one point in the process, gaining their first ever point for the team at a world cup tournament.
We would want to get that first ever win, we want to improve on what we did last time. We are in a tough group, but the boys are ready and they know what is expected of them, he said.
Davies also announced that Renaldo Bothma retired from international duty, while he had to make tough choices in leaving experienced players like Casper Viviers and Chrysander Botha out of the team.
The squad will be captained by Johan Deysel, with Tjiuee Uanivi as his assistant.
Eugene Jantjies will join a select few players in the world to feature in his fourth world cup.
Also speaking to the media at the same event, captain Deysel said the players had been looking forward to the announcement of the squad for a long time and nerves had been calmed.
It is always sad because we have been training as a 50-man squad for the past three months. We had become friends but all of a sudden you notice that some of the friends are missing. It is tough, but it is something that has to happen. The players selected are here on merit, and they will produce at the world cup, he said.
He acknowledged that there is a lot of pressure on the team to win, adding that they are targeting Canada for victory, but did not rule out surprising any of their group opponents.
Namibia is in Group B with New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and Canada.
The Namibian team will depart for Japan on 12 September.
The squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup is as follows:
Andre Rademeyer, Nelius Theron, Desiderius Sethie, AJ de Klerk, Johannes Coetzee, Obert Nortje, Louis van der Westhuizen, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Tjiuee Uanivi, Johan Retief, Thomasau Forbes, Rohan Kitshoff, Max Katjijeko, Prince !Gaoseb, Wian Conradie, PJ van Lill, Adriaan Booysen and Janco Venter.
Cliven Loubser, Helarius Kisting, Damian Stevens, Eugene Jantjies, Darryl de la Harpe, Johan Deysel, Justin Newman, JC Greyling, Johann Tromp, Chad Plato, Lesley Klim, Janry du Toit and PJ Walters.