Stevens and Conradie to debut against Kenya
Former Namibian under 20 players, scrumhalf Damien Stevens and loose-forward Wian Conradie will make their senior debuts against Kenya on Saturday in the Windhoek Draught Africa Cup 1A international series. Conradie who did duty for Namibia at the IRB Junior Trophy Tournament in Hong Kong last year and Stevens who represented Namibia at the Junior World Trophy in Portugal this year, are the only new caps in the match day 22 named by Head Coach Phil Davies on Wednesday.
The Walvis Bay born Stevens has been knocking hard on the door of senior honours after an outstanding season for the University of Western Cape in South Africa’s Varsity Shield Competition.
“ He is an exciting young talent and has a great future in front of him in a Namibian jersey. He has an exceptional pass and very quick around the field with an effective kicking game,” said Davies on the inclusion of Stevens.
Conradie also excelled for the University of Johannesburg in the Varsity Cup Competition and was rewarded with a call-up to the senior side where he will do duty on the side of the scrum.
“ We are really excited about his pace and power around the field, he carries well and is a fearsome defender,” remarked Davies on the inclusion of Conrad.
Wanderers loose-forward Leneve Damens also returns to the national line-up to earn his third cap for his country. In addition to Conradie and Stevens, prop AJ de Klerk and centre Heinrich Smit have also been handed their first start in the home test matches.
France based Johannes Coetzee and PJ van Lill have both returned to Windhoek and along with 44-test veteran Johnnie Redelinghuys will be in the match day 22 for the first time since the team returned from the Nations Cup in Romania.
Saturday’s match will be Namibia’s penultimate international in their extensive campaign to prepare for the Rugby World Cup in England. It will be the 8 th meeting between the two countries of which Namibia have won 6. It will also be the first match since Kenya’s 29-22 win over Namibia in the Rugby World Cup Qualification tournament in Madagascar on the 28 th of June last year. Zimbabwe currently lead the Africa Cup 1A standings after victories over Tunisia and Kenya respectively. Kenya defeated Tunisia 46-15 but lost to Zimbabwe 20-28. The Zimbabweans also beat Tunisia 19-8 in Harare. In their only Africa Cup match so far this year Namibia defeated Tunisia 22-14 in Nabeul. Kick-off for Saturday’s match is at 15:00
Attached a list of the team with statistics
The Namibia team to play Kenya in the Windhoek Draught Africa Cup 1A competition Saturday in Windhoek is : ( * Denotes new cap )
1. Jaco Engels
2. Torsten van Jaarsveld
3. AJ de Klerk
4. Tjiuee Uanivi
5. Janco Venter
6. Jacques Burger (Capt)
7. Wian Conradie *
8. Leneve Damens
9. Damien Stevens *
10. Theuns Kotzè
11. Conrad Marais
12. Darryl de la Harpe
13. Heinrich Smit
14. David Philander
15. Chrysander Botha
16. DG. Wiese
17. Johannes Coetzee
18. Johnnie Redelinghuys
19. Renaldo Bothma
20. PJ van Lill
21. Eugene Jantjies
22. Johan Tromp