RWC 2011: Namibia coach shuffles pack for Samoa
Story and Photo: www.rugbyworldcup.com
ROTORUA, 12 Sept. - Namibia coach Johan Diergaardt will give three players their first starts of Rugby World Cup 2011 in the clash with Samoa on Wednesday.
The Welwitschias, who lost 49-25 to Fiji on Saturday, are still looking for their first Rugby World Cup win.
Second row Nico Esterhuyse moves to the bench to make room for Henk Franken, who will earn his first cap.
Flanker Tinus du Plessis and wing Conrad Marais are dropped from the side. Jacques Nieuwenhuis shifts from number 8 to flanker and Llewellyn Winkler moves from the bench into the starting side.
PJ van Lill will wear the number 8 jumper and TC Losper has been named on the bench.
Diergaardt said the changes were aimed at improving physicality up front and speed in the backs.
"Instead of two big wingers, we went with faster ones," he said.
Nieuwenhuis, who is used to being closer to the action, said he welcomed the switch to flanker and has no doubts about the new faces in the starting line-up.
"The number 8 (van Lill) that is in now is an excellent ball carrier, and the wing (Winkler) he brought in is really quick and can use his speed. On the kick chases we want to force (Samoa)."
Namibia will roll out its new side against Samoa at 14:30 on Wednesday at Rotorua International Stadium.