Aug 21 (Reuters) – Experienced centre Johan Deysel will captain Namibia at the Rugby World Cup as he leads a squad that also includes former Australia international flanker Richard Hardwick, officials confirmed on Monday.
Coach Allister Coetzee will add two more unnamed forwards to the squad in the coming days, pending medical clearance and paperwork issues.
Melbourne Rebels forward Hardwick was born in Windhoek but raised in Australia and won two Wallaby caps in 2017.
A World Rugby rule change in 2021 that allows test-capped players to represent a second national team if they are eligible after a period of three years of inactivity with their original country left the door open for a switch to Namibia.
“I am happy with where we are and our depth,” Coetzee said. “We are not spoilt for choice with players in Namibia.
“We have a number of players who will be added to our stand-by list which is not finalised yet but we have a good idea of who we would like to include there.
“The unluckiest player not selected in the 33-man squad is (injured flyhalf) Helarius Kisting.”
Coetzee has roped in former England scrum coach Matt Proudfoot as his assistant. The latter was part of the South Africa coaching team when they won the World Cup four years ago.
Namibia will be appearing at a seventh World Cup having qualified for every tournament since 1999 but have lost every one of their 22 games played.
They have been credited with a draw against Canada when their final game in 2019 was cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis and the points shared.
Namibia begin their 2023 campaign against Italy in Saint-Etienne on Sept. 9, and also have France, New Zealand and Uruguay in Pool A.
Namibia World Cup squad:
Forwards: Jason Benade, Adriaan Booysen, Aranos Coetzee, Wian Conradie, Tiaan de Klerk, Prince Gaoseb, Richard Hardwick, Max Katjijeko, Adriaan Ludick, Johan Retief, Desiderius Sethie, Mahepisa Tjeriko, Tjiuee Uanivi, Louis van der Westhuizen, Torsten van Jaarsveld, PJ van Lill, Casper Viviers
Backs: Oela Blaauw, Danco Burger, Johan Deysel, JC Greyling, Cliven Loubser, Le Roux Malan, Gerswin Mouton, Chad Plato, Alcino Isaacs, Divan Rossouw, Damian Stevens, Tiaan Swanepoel, Jacques Theron, Andre van der Berg
* Two players to be added.
Source : Reuters