Namibia take on full-strength French

Cam Roigard scores a try for New Zealand against Namibia. File photo

Namibia’s Rugby World Cup campaign continues with another tough encounter tonight when they take on a near full-strength French team in Marseille. 

France have brought out their big guns to face Namibia after an unconvincing 27-12 victory in their last match against Uruguay. 

France’s campaign got off to a great start with a 27-13 victory against New Zealand on 8 September, but after making 12 changes to that team for the Uruguay match, their second string side laboured to an uninspiring victory against Uruguay. 

France have now once again rung the changes, as they have retained only three players from the Uruguay match, while bringing in most of their first choice players who beat New Zealand. 

They include their inspirational captain and scrumhalf Antoine Dupont, their fullback and ace goalkicker Thomas Ramos, and their powerful prop Cyril Baille and centre Jonathan Danty, who both return from injury. 

Numerous other international stars have been selected to face Namibia like winger Damian Penaud, centre Gael Fickou, flyhalf Matthieu Jalibert and flanker Charles Ollivon, as they aim to get their campaign back on track with a convincing victory. 

Namibia coach Allister Coetzee, meanwhile, has rung the changes, making 12 changes from the side that lost 71-3 to New Zealand on 15 September. 

Amongst the forwards, only Aranos Coetzee, Johan Retief and Prince !Gaoseb are retained, while lock Mahepisa Tjeriko will make his world cup debut. 

Amongst the backs, Danco Burger comes in at centre in place of Le Roux Malan who broke his ankle against New Zealand, while Jacques Theron makes his first start at scrumhalf in place of Damian Stevens. Cliven Loubser moves from fullback to flyhalf, while JC Greyling replaces Divan Rossouw at left wing. 

The squads for tonight’s match, which starts at 21h00 Namibian time, are as follows:

Namibia: 15 Andre van der Berg; 14 Gerswin Mouton, 13 Johan Deysel (captain), 12 Danco Burger, 11 JC Greyling; 10 Cliven Loubser, 9 Jacques Theron; 8 Prince Gaoseb, 7 Johan Retief, 6 Max Katjijeko; 5 Adriaan Ludick, 4 Mahepisa Tjeriko; 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Louis van der Westhuizen, 1 Desiderius Sethie

Replacements: 16 Obert Nortje, 17 Jason Benade, 18 Haitembu Shikufa, 19 PJ Van Lill, 20 Richard Hardwick, 21 Oela Blaauw, 22 Alcino Izaacs, 23 Divan Rossouw

France: 15 Thomas Ramos; 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Gael Fickou, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Louis Bielle-Biarrey, 10 Matthieu Jalibert, 9 Antoine Dupont (captain), 8 Anthony Jelonch, 7 Charles Ollivon, 6 Francois Cros, 5 Thibaud Flament, 4 Cameron Woki, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Peato Mauvaka, 1 Cyril Baille
Replacements: 16 Pierre Bourgarit, 17 Reda Wardi, 18 Dorian Aldegheri, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Paul Boudehent, 21 Baptiste Couilloud, 22 Yoram Moefana, 23 Melvyn Jaminet.

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