After what was an incredible opening to the World Cup last night, it will be a hard act to follow for Italy and Namibia in Saint-Etienne this afternoon. This match, however, is expected to be fast-flowing and high scoring with both sides looking to enjoy every moment of their World Cup journey.
What: Rugby World Cup – Pool A
Who: Italy vs Namibia
When: 09/09/2023 – 13:00 local time
Where: Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Étienne
Italy: Head coach Kieran Crowley has selected just 5 players from the tournament four years ago as the young Italian side look to rewrite the opinions of Italian rugby. Only Tommaso Allan, Federico Ruzza, Luca Morisi, Simone Ferrari and Marco Riccioni remain from the side that tumbled out in the group stages last time, with the likes of Paolo Garbisi and Ange Capuozzo leading this new generation of Italians.
Namibia: The south west African side boast a side full of experience, with captain Johan Deysel having achieved a 75% win rate in his term as leader. Cliven Loubser has been overlooked at flyhalf, with the Lions outside half Tiaan Swanepoel being preferred.
Italy: Danilo Fischetti, Giacomo Nicotera, Simone Ferrari, Dino Lamb, Federico Ruzza, Sebastian Negri, Michele Lamaro, Lorenzo Cannone, Stephen Varney, Paolo Garbisi, Monty Ioane, Luca Morisi, Juan Ignacio Brex, Ange Capuozzo, Tommaso Allan
Hame Faiva, Ivan Nemer, Marco Riccioni, David Sisi, Manuel Zuliani, Martin Page-Relo, Paolo Odogwu, Pierre Bruno
Namibia: Des Sethie, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Aranos Coetzee, Adriaan Ludick, Tjiuee Uanivi, Wian Conradie, Johan Retief, Richard Hardwick, Damian Stevens, Tiaan Swanepoel, JC Greyling, Danco Burger, Johan Deysel, Gerswin Mouton, Divan Rossouw
Louis van der Westhuizen, Jason Benade, Casper Viviers, Tiaan de Klerk, Prince Gaoseb, Jacques Theron, Andre van der Berg, Le Roux Malan
Key match up:
JC Greyling vs Ange Capuozzo
Greyling once scored four tries in one match so don’t count the man out from adding to his tally of a try almost every game. Capuozzo will be playing opposite him as he looks to use his immensely elusive talents to turn his opposition winger inside and out. Watch out for this battle today.
Italy 43- 10 Namibia
Both are sides that are not expected to go far in the competition, however both will have a solid underdog fan base. Namibia have been regulars in the World Cup since 1999 but have yet to exceed their place out of the pool stages. Their landmark victories over Italy back in 1991 took place long before the majority of current players were even born.
For this point, and Italy’s clearly improving intentions, we believe it will be a comprehensive win for Italy, but Namibia will be sure to show their merits.