TOP BAR - Fixtures

Saracens flanker Burger inspired by Japan

Saracens flanker Jacques Burger is ready to take inspiration from Japan’s historic display at the weekend when he leads Namibia out against the reigning world champions.

Namibia are just two days away from kicking off their fifth World Cup but the Welwitschias are still on the hunt for their first ever point in the competition.

Tests don’t come much tougher than Thursday’s, when Burger will captain his country against New Zealand at the Olympic Stadium.

However, if they were to pick up a positive result against the All Blacks it wouldn’t be the first shock of the World Cup, following Japan’s last-gasp 34-32 victory over South Africa on Saturday.

And Burger, who has won two Aviva Premiership Rugby titles with Saracens, believes Namibia can take great belief from that result.

“It would be stupid not to be inspired by that,” said the 32-year-old. “Personally I didn't see it coming. It shows a lot can happen.

“Japan has changed the view with what the lesser nations can do. People will start believing. They have grown this belief now. We need to keep believing in ourselves.”

For New Zealand, Namibia represent arguably the simplest challenge of Pool C and head coach Steve Hansen may look to keep a handful of his big names fresh after beating Argentina last weekend.

But Burger is hoping to see fellow flanker Richie McCaw – All Blacks captain and all-time record international appearance holder – keep his place.

“To play against Richie McCaw would have been – or would be – a great experience, just because I have a lot of respect for the man and what he’s achieved in his career,” he added.

“He’s a special rugby player, and he’s done a lot for the game and for the All Blacks. To play against him would be a good experience.

“It's great to be up against the best. The excitement is through the roof with the boys. All the hard work has been done, we're very excited to get this match going.

“It's more about the performance. Realistically you can't look at the scoreline. If we win a match there would be some very excited people around the world. It's all about achieving special moments in the match.”

Latest News

Sonatane Takulua expecting big things from Newcastle Falcons this season

Sonatane Takulua believes unity and a collective purpose, combined with an improved playing pool, can help propel Newcastle Falcons up…

Sonatane Takulua

Wasps name team for first pre-season fixture against Ulster

Dai Young has named a 26-man squad to take on Ulster Rugby at Kingspan Stadium in the first pre-season fixture…

Anglo-Welsh Cup 2017-18 launched

WORCESTER WARRIORS have the honour of hosting the opening match in this year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup on Friday 3 November, when…

Leicester Tigers win the Anglo Welsh Cup

Ally Hogg pleased by Newcastle Falcons’ early progress

Ally Hogg believes Newcastle Falcons are well set to attack the new Aviva Premiership season after a double dose of…

Ally Hogg

Topsy Ojo relishing Exiles return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action at HQ

Topsy Ojo believes there could be no more fitting way for London Irish to announce their return as an Aviva…

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua sees Philadelphia trip as a ‘great opportunity’

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua insists his side’s September clash with Saracens in Philadelphia will be no holiday for the players,…

Sonatane Takulua

Harlequins statement: Luke Wallace and Jonas Mikalcius

Harlequins can confirm today (Tuesday 15th August) that flanker Luke Wallace dislocated his hip during the pre-season friendly against London…

Luke Wallace

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

London Irish will host Bath Rugby at the Madejski Stadium in the opening round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Saturday…

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

HITZ graduate secures first full time job after being inspired by Premiership Rugby final

A teenager from Leigh who overcame a troubled home life and tackled confidence and communication issues thanks to Premiership Rugby…

Lucy Neal

Nick Kennedy delighted with first pre-season hit-out for London Irish

London Irish director of rugby Nick Kennedy is looking forward to seeing his side build on Saturday’s thrilling contest against…

Nick Kennedy

Philadelphia bound Nick Civetta can’t wait for American Series challenge with Newcastle Falcons

NICK CIVETTA HAS had an unlikely path to the top level but as he prepares to embark on his second season…

Nick Civetta

Demetri Catrakilis relishing chance to reunite with old friend Tim Swiel

Harlequins fly-half Demetri Catrakilis has revealed he is ready to join forces with  compatriot and old acquaintance Tim Swiel – insisting…

Worcester Warriors to use number of players in Hartpury test

Warriors will look to use up to 37 players during their fixture against Hartpury College this Saturday in their first…

GJ van Velze

Emergency Services workers invited to London Double Header

Saracens are offering up to eight free tickets to any member of the London Emergency Services for the upcoming London…

London Double Header

Newcastle Falcons teams for double-header v Doncaster and Nottingham

Three-time French title winner Maxime Mermoz is among the Newcastle Falcons players making their debuts in Saturday’s home double header…

Nili Latu

Lewis and Phillips to make Bath Rugby debuts against Bristol

Josh Lewis and James Phillips will make their Bath Rugby debuts in the Club’s first pre-season game against Bristol Rugby…

James Phillips

London Irish name side for pre-season opener

London Irish have named a 29-man squad for tomorrow’s Cunningham Duncombe Series against Harlequins at Hazelwood, with seven summer signings…

Greig Tonks

Nick Civetta primed for Newcastle Falcons’ double header this Saturday

Having spent the summer helping his country qualify for the Rugby World Cup American lock Nick Civetta is keen to…

Nick Civetta

Chris Robshaw commits his future to Harlequins

Harlequins is thrilled to announce today (Thursday 10th August) that England back row Chris Robshaw has re-signed with the Club…

Chris Robshaw