Cape Town - Former Namibia captain Jacques Burger expects his former team to be up against it against the Springboks at the Rugby World Cup on Saturday.
Burger, who played 36 Tests for Namibia between 2004 and 2015, spoke exclusively to Sport24 ahead of Saturday’s Rugby World Cup opener between the two African neighbours.
"It's going to be tough for Namibia because the Springboks will be in the zone, having just come off a defeat in their opening pool fixture. South Africa boast a very strong squad and, while they weren’t unlucky against the All Blacks, a few refereeing decisions went against them,” Burger said.
The match will be only the third meeting between the countries, with the Boks winning 105-13 at Newlands on the eve of the 2007 World Cup and 87-0 at the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.
Burger added that a new-look Bok side which shows 13 changes could spell danger for Namibia.
"A number of players are going to look to put up their hands with the intention of playing in the big games going forward. The main thing from a Namibian point of view is to walk away from the Bok game with some positives, learn and look forward to the next game. If the Springboks fire on all cylinders it could be a big scoreline."
Burger, who during his career played for teams like Griquas, the Blue Bulls and Saracens in England, recalled the heavy loss suffered by Namibia at Newlands before the 2007 World Cup:
"The hosts put 105 points past us. At that stage, it didn't matter how hard we tried because they were just out of our league. They were too good for us and we didn’t have any answers for them. The Springbok class of 2019 possess a similar squad strength-wise and, by contrast, Namibia have an inexperienced side. To be honest, Namibia is a little bit out of their depth because we are a very modest rugby nation. But hopefully we can see some pride from the boys and they follow the systems put in place."
Kick-off at the City of Toyota Stadium is at 11:45 (SA time) on Saturday.
15 Johan Tromp, 14 Chad Plato, 13 JC Greyling, 12 Peter John Walters, 11 Lesley Klim, 10 Cliven Loubser, 9 Eugene Jantjies, 8 Adriaan Booysen, 7 Muharua Katjijeko, 6 Thomasau Forbes, 5 Tjiuee Uanivi (captain), 4 Johan Retief, 3 AJ de Klerk, 2 Louis van der Westhuizen, 1 Desiderius Sethie
Substitutes: 16 Obert Nortje, 17 Andre Rademeyer, 18 Johannes Coetzee, 19 Prince Gaoseb, 20 Janco Venter, 21 Wian Conradie, 22 Helarius Axasman Kisting, 23 Johan Deysel
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Schalk Brits (captain), 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Steven Kitshoff, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Eben Etzebeth, 19 Siya Kolisi, 20 Franco Mostert, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Damian de Allende, 23 Cheslin Kolbe