Namibian coach Phil Davies believes that Schalk Brits’ inclusion at eighthman won’t be a gamble when the minnows face the Boks on Saturday.
When questioned about the squad named by Rassie Erasmus as well as Brits’ selection at the back of the scrum, Davies was full of praise for the versatile 38-year-old.
‘It didn’t affect our selection to be fair. I think Schalk Brits is so skillful that he could play anywhere,’ chuckled Davies. ‘Maybe he could play flyhalf.’
‘He’s just a talented rugby player,’ added Davies.
The Welsh coach on Thursday announced his Namibian side to take on the Boks with the team only including 7 full-time players, while at least five others are students. The rest of the side are employed by businessmen, farmers and banks.
Hooker Torsten van Jaarsveld, who previously featured for the Cheetahs, has been given the week off after a strong performance in last week’s defeat to Italy.
The Boks – who have also made wholesale changes for the clash with their African neighbours – will be a tough opponent according to Davies, who is expecting a physical onslaught from Erasmus’ men.
‘They’re a very strong squad,’ continued Davies. ‘If you look at the 23 they’ve got, it’s a very good starting lineup. Yes they’ve made changes, but they’ve brought quality players into that [team].
‘Plus, when you look at the bench, it’s a very strong bench. So it’s a great challenge for our boys, a great opportunity for us to go out and play our neighbours obviously.
‘They’re a team we have huge respect for. A union that’s been very supportive to Namibian rugby.’
Despite the circumstances, Davies said his side wouldn’t differ too much from their preferred playing style, even though the scoreline might become a blowout in the Boks’ favour should things not go to plan.
‘Namibian rugby is all about flair for me. They seem to have chosen a team that wants to play running rugby, which we also enjoy.’
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) September 26, 2019
Photo: Steve Haag Sports via Hollywoodbets