Namibia are going into battle against Zimbabwe on Saturday with a young side. The team has nine new caps, six in the starting line-up.
One of the new caps is Johan Tromp who plays on the wing for Tukkies and for the Pumas (Mpumalanga) Under-21 side. Tighthead André Schlechter plays for the Eastern Province Kings. The other seven newcomers play in Namibia - Munee Tjiuezalocks, Stefan Neustadt and Muniovita Kasiringua, hooker Rathony Becker, hooker-prop Hannes Dirsuwei who plays for Namibia Under-19, lock Stef Botha who plays for Hamiltons and was in the Western Province Under-21 squad without playing a game and Victor Rodriques. Apart from them Justin Nel, Arthur Bouwer and Collen Smith have just one Test to their names.
Four of the side play their club rugby in Romania - Renaud van Neel, Eugene Jantjies, Sergio de la Harpe and McGrath van Wyk.
Coach Danie Vermeulen is not embarking on a youth policy. His hand has been forced by the unavailability of top players Jacques Burger who would be expected to captain the side but is injured, Morné Blom, Nico Esterhuyse, Petrus Human, Harold Kasera, Anthony Jevu, Rodger Thompson, Johan Deysel, Herman Stroh, Rohan Kitshoff (Bordeaux-Bègles,), Callie Swanepoel, Danie Dames, Lean Stoop (Portugal) and David Philander who is in New Zealand. Then Shaun Esterhuizen, Martin Goeieman, Heinz Koll and Godwin Walters have retired.
Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber have been up in Windhoek working with the side. Also there is Willie Maree, the video analyst.
It will not be easy for the young Namibians. Zimbabwe are the holders of the Africa Cup and Spain are two places above Namibia on the IRB's rankings.
Zimbabwe have not been able to afford to choose players based outside of Zimbabwe.
Namibia: 15 Justin Nel, 14 Johan Tromp, 13 Danie van Wyk, 12 Darryl de la Harpe (vice-captain), 11 Chrysander Botha, 10 Theuns Kotzé, 9 Eugene Jantjies, 8 PJ van Lill (captain), 7 Munee Tjiueza, 6 Renaud van Neel, 5 Stefan Neustadt, 4 Muniovita Kasiringua, 3 Andre Schlechter, 2 Rathony Bekker, 1 Johnny Redelinghuys
replacements: 16 Collen Smith 17 Hannes Dirsuwei 18 Stef Botha 19 Victor Rodriques 20 Arthur Bouwer 21 Sergio de la Harpe 22 Desmond Snyders
Zimbabwe squad: Tapiwa Mangezi, Pieter Joubert, Vakai Hove, Royal Mwale, Costa Dinha, Jan Ferreira, Tinoziva Chinobva, Biselele Tshamala, Fidel Nyabusa, Lucky Sithole, Takunda Chifokoyo, Samson Makuku, Scotty Jones, Philimon Machisa, Lenience Tambwera, Tichafa Makwanya, Wesley mbanje, Japhet Ndebele, Daniel Hondo, Danny Roberts, Shane Makombe, Gavin Nyawata, Tangari Nemadire and Gardner Nechironga.
Date: 10 November 2012
Kick-off: 16.00 (local time)
Venue: Hage Geingob Stadium, Windhoek
Expected weather conditions: Partly cloudy with a high of 20°C, dropping to 20°C.
Referee: Marius Jonker (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha (South Africa), Tiaan Jonker (South Africa)