Jantjies on verge of fourth tournament

Phil Davies has named a 31-man Namibia squad with an abundance of Rugby World Cup experience for the upcoming tournament in Japan.

Veteran scrum-half Eugene Jantjies (pictured) will travel to a fourth Rugby World Cup after he was named in Namibia’s 31-man squad for Japan 2019.

Jantjies made his Rugby World Cup debut during his country’s 32-17 defeat to Ireland in Bordeaux in 2007 and has gone on to make 11 tournament appearances.

The 67-cap veteran is one of four players – alongside Darryl de la Harpe, Rohan Kitshoff and PJ van Lill – included by head coach Phil Davies who appeared at New Zealand 2011. In total, there are 15 players in the squad that have previous Rugby World Cup experience.

Those include captain Johan Deysel and Tjiuee Uanivi, who will act as the centre’s vice-captain in Japan.

Harlequins number eight Renaldo Bothma, who represented his country at England 2015, had been named in Davies’ provisional 50-man squad in June but announced his international retirement on Sunday.

Namibia have qualified for each of the last six Rugby World Cups but are yet to register their first win. The Welwitschias came close to ending that drought in Exeter four years ago, however, Theuns Kotzé's late try could not prevent a 17-16 defeat to Georgia at Sandy Park.

Namibia have been drawn in Pool B at Rugby World Cup 2019 and will open their campaign against Italy in Higashiosaka City on 22 September before games against South Africa, New Zealand and Canada.

Davies’ side finished fourth at the World Rugby Nations Cup 2019 in June despite beating hosts Uruguay 30-28 in Montevideo. 

They will conclude their preparations for Japan with a second match against PRO14 side Southern Kings on Saturday. Namibia won the first encounter 28-22.

Namibia Rugby World Cup squad

Forwards: Andre Rademeyer, Nelius Theron, Desiderius Sethie, A J 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, P J van Lill, Adriaan Booysen, Janco Venter.

Backs: Cliven Loubser, Helarius Kisting, Damian Stevens, Eugene Jantjies, Darryl de la Harpe, Johan Deysel (captain), Justin Newman, J C Greyling, Johann Tromp, Chad Plato, Lesley Klim, Janry du Toit, P J Walters.