Deysel to lead Namibia at World Cup after Bothma quits

Johannesburg (AFP) –

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Johan Deysel will lead Namibia at the Rugby World Cup in Japan this month after the shock retirement of captain Renaldo Bothma just before the 31-man squad was named Monday.

Loose forward Bothma from English Premiership club Harlequins, the highest profile current Namibian rugby player, gave no reason for his decision to skip the global showpiece.

Centre Deysel plays for French second-tier outfit Colomiers, a side based in a Toulouse suburb, and was also part of the 2015 World Cup squad in England and Wales

Namibia are in Pool B with defending champions New Zealand, former trophy-holders South Africa, Italy and Canada and are seeking to end a 19-defeat World Cup run since debuting 20 years ago.

They have suffered heavy defeats by New Zealand (58-14), South Africa (87-0) and Canada (72-11) in previous editions of the four yearly World Cup. Namibia have not played Italy before.

Despite that hammering from the Canadians, the best chance of a first win for the country ranked 23rd in the world is likely to come in their last pool fixture against the north Americans on October 13.

Scrum-half Eugene Jantjies has been chosen for a fourth consecutive World Cup while centre Darryl de la Harpe, lock PJ van Lill and flanker Rohan Kitshoff have been to the tournament twice before.

Local side the Welwitschias, who represented Namibia in a second-tier South African competition this year, provide the bulk of the squad with 20 players.

There are four players each based in South Africa and France and one each from teams in England, Romania and Wales.

Former Wales international Phil Davies coaches the team from the southwestern Africa nation having taken charge just before the 2015 World Cup.

Squad

Forwards (18)

Obert Nortje (Welwitschias), Louis van der Westhuizen (Welwitschias), Torsten van Jaarsveld (Bayonne/FRA), Aranos Coetzee (Free State Cheetahs/RSA), AJ de Klerk (Welwitschias), André Rademeyer (Welwitschias), Desiderius Sethie (Welwitschias), Nelius Theron (Leopards/RSA), Johan Retief (Leopards/RSA), Tjiuee Uanivi (Massy/FRA), PJ van Lill (Bayonne/FRA), Adriaan Booysen (Welwitschias), Wian Conradie (Welwitschias), Thomasau Forbes (Welwitschias), Prince Gaoseb (Welwitschias), Max Katjijeko (Welwitschias), Rohan Kitshoff (Welwitschias), Janco Venter (Jersey Reds/ENG)

Backs (13)

Helarius Kisting (Baia Mare/ROM), Lesley Klim (Ospreys/WAL), PJ Walters (Welwitschias), Chad Plato (Welwitschias), Johann Tromp (Welwitschias), Darryl de la Harpe (Welwitschias), Johan Deysel (Colomiers/FRA, capt), JC Greyling (Welwitschias), Justin Newman (Welwitschias), Janry du Toit (Welwitschias), Cliven Loubser (Welwitschias), Eugene Jantjies (Welwitschias), Damian Stevens (Boland Cavaliers/RSA)

Coach: Phil Davies (WAL)