Burger starts for Nambia

Date published: September 22 2015

Saracens flanker Jacques Burger will lead an experienced Namibian outfit against New Zealand in their Pool C match at Olympic Park on Thursday. 

The matchday 23 boasts ten players with World Cup experience. Burger, Eugene Jantjies and Tinus du Plessis will play at their third tournament.

This will be the first ever Test match between Namibia and New Zealand.

Looking ahead to their opening game, Namibia head coach Phil Davies stressed his side must not be overawed by the occasion this Thursday.

"I think it is about concentration. The lads are such an enthusiastic bunch, they love the game and training. We have come together as a squad in different guises. We've had to blend a squad and team spirit with guys from varying situations. That has been fantastic to do and see. They are excited about playing New Zealand and to have the Namibian flag and New Zealand flag flying from the top of the stadium together," said the former Cardiff Blues director of rugby.

"Hopefully if we do our jobs well we can put some good stuff together and give a good account of ourselves on the field. It won't be a problem keeping them calm, just keeping them focused is the key."

Namibia famously lost 142-0 to Australia at 2003's RWC and will be keen not to suffer a similar defeat in this game.

"The only thing I'm pretty confident about is the way that we're going to approach the game. The way the players have worked up until this point. I'm confident we'll give a performance. We hope that this World Cup, we'll perform well on the pitch on a consistent basis. The scoreboard then takes care of itself, in many ways. I'm confident we'll play well," said Davies.

Namibia: 15 Johan Tromp, 14 David Philander, 13 JC Greyling, 12 Johan Deysel, 11 Conrad Marais, 10 Theuns Kotzè, 9 Eugene Jantjies, 8 Leneve Damens, 7 Tinus du Plessis, 6 Jacques Burger (capt), 5 Pieter-Jan van Lill, 4 Tjiuee Uanivi, 3 Johannes Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Jaco Engels.
Replacements: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Casper Viviers, 18 Raoul Larson, 19 Renaldo Bothma, 20 Janco Venter, 21 Rohan Kitshoff, 22 Eneill Buitendag, 23 Chrysander Botha.

Date: Thursday, September 24
Venue: The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London
Kick-off: 20:00 local (19:00 GMT)
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Craig Joubert (South Africa), Mathieu Raynal (France)
Television match official: George Ayoub (Australia)