Namibia v Georgia preview: Namibians looking for first ever World Cup victory
- Namibia continues their search for a first Rugby World Cup win
- Success for Georgia would mean they could finish third in Pool C
- Game will likely be Namibia’s talismanic captain Jacques Burger’s final international outing
Georgia will want to put pressure on third place Tonga in Pool C while Namibia continue their search for a first ever Rugby World Cup victory at the 17th attempt at Sandy Park on Wednesday.
The game is the last realistic chance that Namibia’s talismanic captain Jacques Burger will get to lead his side of teachers, lawyers and many more to a famous World Cup victory. The 32-year-old skipper will also equal Hugo Horn’s record of eleven appearances for Namibia in Rugby World Cups.
Georgia, on the other hand, will be looking to build on their shock win against Tonga in the opening round of fixtures a by recording a second win, which could see the Lelos finish third in Pool C.
With the Tongans playing New Zealand on Friday, it gives Georgia a realistic chance, if they win, of securing automatic qualification for the 2019 tournament in Japan.
Georgia have made wholesale changes to their team to face Namibia with, Merab Kvirikashvili, Merab Sharikadze and Vasil Lobzhanidze, who became the youngest ever player to feature at a World Cup against Tonga a few weeks ago, all earning a places in the starting XV.
Meanwhile, for Namibia loosehead prop Johnny Redelinghuys comes into the team and will win his 50th cap for his country, becoming the first Namibian player to do so in Test match history.
Wing David Philander also comes in for Namibia, replacing Johan Tromp.
Despite the pride and passion that will be on display by the Namibians, the quality the Georgians have shown so far in this Rugby World Cup against Tonga and the All Blacks should be enough to see them win in the end. Expect both sides to be very physical at the breakdown with Namibia Captain Burger being in the thick of it.
Georgia by 10
Players to watch
Namibia will be looking to their Saracens superstar to inspire them to win their first World Cup game. The flanker will be crucial in the scrum to help his side compete while they will seek to get the ball in his hands as much as possible after he crashed over with two tries last time out against the Tongans.
He was the man of the match in their intense battle against New Zealand last Friday night in a game that saw All Black wing Julian Savea touch down a hat-trick. Only a real outstanding performance would see anyone else claim the award, but that is the type of display Gorgodze put in with his fierce tackling and sturdy carrying. He put his body on the line and showed incredible passion for his country. He will hope to sign off from this World Cup with a win that would secure their place at the next installment of the competition in Japan.
Georgia: 15 Merab Kvirikashvili, 14 Tamaz Mchedlidze, 13 Davit Kacharava, 12 Merab Sharikadze, 11 Alexander Todua, 10 Lasha Malaguradze, 9 Vasil Lobzhanidze, 8 Mamuka Gorgodze (c), 7 Viktor Kolelishvili, 6 Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, 5 Konstantin Mikautadze, 4 Giorgi Nemsadze, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili.
Replacements: 16 Shalva Mamukashvili, 17 Karlen Asieshvili, 18 Anton Peikrishvili, 19 Levan Datunashvili, 20 Lasha Lomidze, 21 Giorgi Begadze, 22 Giorgi Aptsiauri, 23 Beka Tsiklauri.
Namibia: 15 Chrysander Botha, 14 David Philander, 13 Danie Van Wyk, 12 Darryl de la Harpe, 11 Russel van Wyk, 10 Theuns Kotze, 9 Eugene Jantjies, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Tinus du Plessis, 6 Jacques Burger (c), 5 Tjiuee Uanivi, 4 PJ van Lill, 3 Raoul Larson, 2 Torsten Van Jaarsveld, 1 Johnny Redelinghuys.
Replacements: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Jaco Engels, 18 Johannes Coetzee, 19 Wian Conradie, 20 Rohan Kitshoff, 21 Johan Tromp, 22 Damian Stevens, 23 Heinrich Smit.
Date: Wednesday, September 19
Venue: Sandy Park, Exeter
Kick-off: 20:00 local
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)