It is a lack of brand that Namibia will have to face. But the reason is strange to say the least. Second row Johan Retief, who played all of Namibia's first three games at the Rugby World Cup, was forced to forfeit the last one, against Uruguay, on Wednesday. Bitten by a spider, he cannot hold his place.
It is a real blow for the Namibian XV, who counted on their second line to hang a victory, the first in its history. "It was impossible to predict. We will miss him on the field. He's our captain of the touchline," said Chrysander Botha, coach of three-quarters of this team.
This is not the only absence on the Namibian side for this last match of their World Cup. Seriously injured in the right ankle during the match against New Zealand, the center Le Roux Malan has been operated and will be absent for many months. Johan Deysel, the man who France caused a stir by colliding with Antoine Dupont, causing a maxillozygomatic fracture, is suspended. Following his red card, he will have to skip the next five games of his national team.
La soledad de la sala de prensa en un partido de Copa del Mundo entre dos equipos Tier2#RWC2023 pic.twitter.com/LwLnMifVig
— Ignacio Chans (@ignaciochans) September 26, 2023
Although important for both teams, who do not want to leave fanny de France, this match between Namibia and Uruguay does not unleash passions. In the press room, the few local journalists present felt very lonely. Nevertheless, Namibians can make national rugby history by winning their first World Cup success.