Burger to lead Namibia against Russia

Date published: July 7 2015

Saracens flanker Jacques Burger will captain Namibia in the first Test of Russia's tour to the country in Windhoek this Saturday. 

Burger returns to the team after his last appearance for Namibia against Canada in November last year. It will be his first Test appearance on home soil since 2009. 

The starting 15 for the opening encounter in the two-match series shows four changes and four positional switches to the one that played in Namibia’s 20-3 defeat against Spain at the Nations Cup in Romania last month.

In the back-line Leopards centre Johan Deysel has recovered from an injury and replaces JC Greyling at inside centre while Eugene Jantjies is back in the starting line-up ahead of Eneill Buitendag who moves to the bench. 

In the tight five St. Nazaire prop Casper Viviers will start at tighthead replacing Aranos Coetzee and veteran Jaco Engels gets a start on the loosehead side. Lock Nico Esterhuizen replaces Janco Venter to partner Tjiuee Uanive in the second row. 

The loose-forward trio sees the return of Burger with Thinus du Plessis moving from the side of the scrum to number eight.

It is the replacement line-up that really makes for interesting reading with Namibia’s big guns who will all start from the bench. NRU director of rugby, John Williams said they wanted to maintain as much momentum as possible from the last encounter against Spain and did not want to make too many changes straight away.

"We wanted to keep the starting line-up as close to the one which played against Spain but will gradually introduce the likes of Renaldo Bothma, Torsten van Jaarsveldt and Chrysander Botha so that when we go into the second test we have more momentum," said Williams.

Namibia: 15 Johan Tromp, 14 David Philander, 13 Danie van Wyk, 12 Johan Deysel, 11 Russel van Wyk, 10 Theuns Kotzè, 9 Eugene Jantjies, 8 Thinus du Plessis, 7 Thomasua Forbes, 6 Jacques Burger (c), 5 Nico Esterhuyzen, 4 Tjiuee Uanivi, 3 Casper Viviers, 2 DG Wiese, 1 Jaco Engels
Replacements: 16 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17 Raoul Larson, 18 AJ de Klerk, 19 Renaldo Bothma, 20 Rohan Kitshoff, 21 Eneill Buitendag, 22 JC Greyling, 23 Chrysander Botha

Date: Saturday, 11 June
Venue: Hage Geingob Stadium, Windhoek
Referee: Lesego Legoete (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Jacky Husselmann (Namibia), Harry van Niekerk (Namibia)