Cap­tain Brits warns Spring­boks not to un­der­es­ti­mate neigh­bours

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Total Rugby - Open­side: My Jour­ney to

South Africa cap­tain Schalk Brits has warned his side not to un­der­es­ti­mate Namibia and make sure they avoid a World Cup shock in Toy­ota.

The Spring­boks are ex­pected to have lit­tle trou­ble dis­pos­ing of their African ri­vals in a sec­ond Pool B fix­ture to­day as they aim to bounce back from de­feat by New Zealand.

How­ever, hav­ing been part of the South Africa squad who suf­fered a seis­mic up­set when beaten 34-32 by Ja­pan in Brighton four years ago, the vet­eran for­mer Sara­cens hooker will not al­low any thoughts of com­pla­cency.

“We are mak­ing sure we are up for it from a phys­i­cal and men­tal point of view,” Brits said.

“I was in­volved in the group that lost against Ja­pan, so I know the feel­ing – when you should win and don’t.”

Brits is set to roll back the clock and play at No8 against Namibia, while fly-half Faf de Klerk will be rested as part of sweep­ing changes to the start­ing XV.

The 38-year-old came out of re­tire­ment to help Spring­boks coach Rassie Erasmus move the squad for­ward. “When Rassie spoke to me I was sip­ping cock­tails in Ibiza ... so far, it has been a great de­ci­sion,” Brits said of his in­ter­na­tional re­turn. “I still be­lieve we can do won­der­ful things in this World Cup.”

Namibia are ranked one place be­low Canada at 23rd in the world – with their squad in­clud­ing univer­sity stu­dents, a full-time banker, a brew­ery en­gi­neer and a qual­i­fied den­tist. The 47-22 de­feat by Italy in Hi­gashiosaka means Namibia have lost all 20 of their World Cup matches to date.

Namibia wing PJ Wal­ters, though, main­tains they will be more than up for the chal­lenge against one of rugby’s tra­di­tional heavy­weights. “I don’t think any love will be lost,” he said. “We rep­re­sent Africa to­gether and it will be a great clash be­tween neigh­bours.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.