Jacques Burger’s Rugby World Cup 2015 Diary

August 17, 2015

Hi Guys, welcome back! Namibia’s preparations have continued to go well, we managed to win the Africa Cup since I last wrote, beating Zimbabwe by 80 points to 6. I was not involved as I have been back in the UK for a few days with the family.

Having watched the game since, everything went to plan. We were strong up front and the backs continued to flourish. Renaldo Bothma was excellent and he led from the front with his big ball carrying, allowing us to get some quick ball from the base of the ruck. Big praise must go to ex-Blue Bulls coach and Springboks wing Peter Roussouw. He has come in to help us alongside Phil and has been excellent at getting the structures in place.

These games are a huge opportunity for our guys to market themselves to the rest of the world, so you may think that the structure of the team may suffer because of an individual trying to do too much. What Phil and Peter have taught us is that if we get the right things in place, which cover the basic principles, then we will be better for it as a result and as a unit. This all adds to the off field activities I spoke about last week and allows us to build the team spirit and trust in one another.

As I said, I missed the game against Zim because I was back in the UK visiting my family. It was my young lad’s first birthday and thankfully Namibia allowed me to have a few days off so that I could head back to see him for the big day. It was great to be back with the family, albeit for a few days. We had some good fun and when the dust had settled from the birthday, and with the in-laws being over, we rounded it off with a lovely meal at The Shard in London. If you haven’t been it is a great experience, if not a little on the pricey side when paying in Namibian Dollars!

“…If there are any matches in the training, then we will be hoping to keep our unbeaten record going…”

Now it is time to head back to Namibia for the next stage, as we link up with the Springboks for a training camp in Durban before heading to England. If there are any matches in the training, then we will be hoping to keep our unbeaten record going before we try and lift the big one in late October!

Following on from last week I am going to finish with another two guys to watch out for at the World Cup. First up from Namibia it’s big Renaldo Bothma! He has just signed in Japan for Toyota, having been at the Sharks. He is a real competitor and carries very, very hard. He is only 25 and having come through the ranks at the Pumas in South Africa, he is only going to get better and better. Playing as the main man for a smaller union before heading to a side such as the Sharks is a big step to take, and Japan will allow him to round his game further as he experiences a different style of play. A great bloke off the pitch as well, who is never shy to get involved with the banter in the squad!

“…A great bloke off the pitch as well who is never shy to get involved with the banter in the squad…”

Elsewhere, have a look at Greg Peterson for the USA. He is a big unit standing at 204 cm tall and has a real physical presence when he plays with his no nonsense approach. He was at Leicester Tigers last season and has recently joined Glasgow Warriors for the next campaign. Having grown up in Australia he has been bubbling under the surface behind some top quality players at the Waratahs and having watched him play a bit for the Tigers last season, he could really enforce himself on Pool B as the Eagles look to make a statement. Until next time, stay strong, Jacques.

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