WINDHOEK (Reuters) – Scrumhalf Eugene Jantjies will go to his fourth Rugby World Cup after being named in Namibia’s 31-man squad on Monday for the tournament in Japan that starts later this month.
Jantjies, 33, is one of 15 players in the squad with previous World Cup experience as Welsh head coach Phil Davies seeks to steer the country to a first ever victory at the global showpiece event.
Centre Darryl de la Harpe, flank Rohan Kitshoff and lock PJ van Lill will all appear at their third tournaments, but experienced number eight Renaldo Bothma will not be in Japan after he announced his international retirement on Sunday.
Namibia have appeared at the last five World Cups, but have lost all 19 matches, though they did show a marked improvement under Davies in 2015 and narrowly lost 17-16 to Georgia.
They may well fancy their chances of breaking their duck having been pooled with Canada this year, along with heavyweights New Zealand and South Africa. Italy are the fifth team in the pool.
The team will be captained by centre Johan Deysel and open their Pool B campaign against the Italians on Sept. 22.
They geared up for the tournament with a 28-22 victory against South African PRO14 side the Southern Kings this past Saturday, who they will meet again this coming weekend.
Forwards (18): 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, Janco Venter.
Backs (13): 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, PJ Walters.
(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Christian Radnedge)