By Nick Said
TOYOTACITY, Japan (Reuters) – The enormity of Namibia’s task in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup clash against South Africa can be fathomed from the fact that 70 percent of their squad remain amateurs, including loose-forward Thomasau Forbes who has taken time off from his job in a bank to play in Japan.
The 30-year-old will make his World Cup debut against the Springboks at the City of Toyota Stadium, and along with a number of his teammates juggles rugby with his day job, something that requires an extra dose of commitment.
“I’ve got a good relationship with my work, so for the past two months they were quite lenient with me leaving when I needed to,” Forbes told reporters ahead of the Pool B clash with their heavyweight neighbours.
“I wake up at 5.30 a.m. for a morning session in the gym and finish at 8.30am. I get to work at 9am, work throughout lunch, sometimes eating at my desk.
“I finish at 4.30 p.m. and go back to the field again. Then back home at 8 p.m. maybe, eat, pack my bag for the next day and sleep.”
It is a gruelling schedule, but one that is necessary if he is to put food on the table and realise his ambition of playing international rugby.
“I enjoy this much more than the day job, that’s for sure. It’s always special playing for your country, especially at a World Cup.
“I’m going to make the most of it while I’m here and then see what happens.”
Namibia coach Phil Davies is appreciative of the effort and sacrifice his home-based players put into their rugby.
“When you’ve got a bunch of players like that with that kind of attitude, you know you’ve got a chance to progress,” he said.
“Their effort and commitment over the past four years is phenomenal. Their love for playing for Namibia and putting the fish eagle (badge) on their chest is inspirational.”
(Reporting By Nick Said; Editing by Amlan Chakrborty)