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Saracens’ Burger to skipper Namibia at the World Cup

Saracens flanker Jacques Burger will captain Namibia after they announced their squad for the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

Burger, who starred for Sarries last season as they lifted the Aviva Premiership Rugby trophy for the second time in their history, is amongst four members of the Namibia squad that will be appearing in their third tournament, with prop Johnnie Redelinghuys, loose forward Tinus du Plessis and scrum-half Eugene Jantjies.

Redelinghuys is Namibia's highest capped player of all time with 46 test matches to his credit, while the average number of caps per player amounts to just 16.

Nine players in Raoul Larson, Rohan Kitshoff, PJ van Lill, Theuns Kotzè, Darryl de La Harpe, Danie van Wyk,

Conrad Marais, David Philander and Chrysander Botha also represented the Welwitschias in New Zealand in 2011.

Another feature of the squad is the inclusion of three players under the age of 21 in hooker Louis van der Westhuizen, flanker Wian Conradie and scrum-half Damian Stevens.

Namibia face defending Rugby World Cup champions New Zealand in their opening Pool C clash on 24 September, followed by matches against Georgia, Tonga and Argentina.

Namibia’s head coach Phil Davies says the squad has a good combination of youthful exuberance and experience.

“There’s a lot of things you have to consider when making a selection like this, the dynamic of the group is very important and I think we have a number of young, but inexperienced players whose exuberance is rubbing off on the more experienced players,” he said.

"I think it is the strongest group of players who we could have picked to select Namibia at the Rugby World Cup. There’s some good versatility and a big number of players are in good form as we showed recently when we won four test matches and moved up to number 20 on the World Rankings.

“It was tough, we have good depth in the midfield, lots of talent in the back three, and also in our back row. We do have some world-class players in Jacques Burger and Renaldo Bothma amongst others. But in some areas where we lack a bit of depth, we are looking at developing some young players for the future."
 
 
NAMIBIA RWC 2015 SQUAD:
 
Forwards: Johannes Coetzee, AJ de Klerk, Jaco Engels, Raoul Larson, Johnnie Redelinghuys, Casper Viviers, Louis van der Westhuizen, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Janco Venter, Tjiuee Uanivi, Renaldo Bothma, Jacques Burger, Wian Conradie, Leneve Damens, Tinus du Plessis, Rohan Kitshoff, PJ van Lill.
 
Backs: Eneill Buitendag, Eugene Jantjies, Damien Stevens, Theuns Kotzè, Darryl de La Harpe, Johan Deysel, JC Greyling, Danie van Wyk, Conrad Marais, David Philander, Heinrich Smith, Russell van Wyk, Chrysander Botha, Johan Tromp.
 

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