Namibia head coach Allister Coetzee has heaped praise on the All Blacks for a brilliant gesture made to centre Le Roux Malan, who suffered a severe injury in their 71-3 loss.
Malan dislocated and fractured his ankle in an attempt to make a tackle and had to be given oxygen before being stretchered off the field.
It was certainly a nasty injury, and the Namibian has since undergone successful surgery. In a show of support and good faith, the All Blacks organised a signed number 12 shirt for Malan – a gesture that typifies rugby’s values around community and respect.
”It was a very successful operation, according to the doctor. I think he’s here until Monday or Tuesday, and then he’ll fly out,” said Coetzee.
“What was actually very good, and I hope it will help in a way, is the gesture from the All Blacks to hand him a signed jersey, a No 12 jersey signed by the whole team.
“It says a lot about the sportsmanship of this World Cup. It’s a good gesture from the All Blacks.
Ethos of the game
“That is not just saying the ethos and the culture and the values of rugby, but actually living and feeling it. That to me, is unbelievable of the All Blacks to do something like that.”
Moments like these show just how special the game of rugby union is and how powerful the World Cup is in the way it brings people from around the globe together, united by a love for the sport.
Namibia will call on a replacement for the injured star for the remainder of the tournament as games against France on Thursday and Uruguay the following Wednesday remain in their 2023 campaign as they continue their search for their first win at a World Cup.