The Namibian Rugby Union on Thursday named a 50-man preliminary training squad from which the final team of 31 players for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England in September and October will be selected.
The group includes 15 players with Rugby World Cup experience while five players, prop Johnnie Redelinghuys, lock Nico Esterhuyze, loose-forwards Jacques Burger and Thinus du Plessis as well as scrum half Eugene Jantjies participated in the 2007 and 2011 Rugby World Cup tournaments in France and New Zealand respectively.
The group is made up of the 27 players currently representing Namibia at the Nations Cup in Bucharest, Romania as well as number of UK and South Africa based players who could not travel to Romania due to commitments with their franchises, provinces and clubs.
They are Jacques Burger(Saracens - UK), Chrysander Botha(Exeter Chiefs - UK), Renaldo Bothma (Sharks - SA), Torsten van Jaarsveld (Free State Cheetahs - SA) and Danie Dames (Griquas - SA). A number of players recovering from injury including NWU-PUKKE’s centre Johan Deysel, were also included.
In addition National team coach Danie Vermeulen rewarded good form in the Vodacom Cup with a call up to the preliminary training squad for a number of young players who are pushing for a place in the 31-man World Cup squad.
The preliminary trying group will assemble in Windhoek in early July to prepare for the two test matches against Russia in the Namibian capital on the 11 th and 18 th of July respectively.