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Namibia prepare for Uruguay

The Welwitschias expect another abrasive encounter when they face Uruguay in their second South American Power Tour clash in Montevideo on Saturday.

Both sides come off bruising Rugby World Cup warm-up matches over the weekend, with Namibia going down 34-27 to Argentina XV, and Uruguay posting a 26-25 victory over fellow South Americans Chile.

Success on Saturday, a preview of their World Cup fixture on 27 September, depends on which side will have shaken off the aftereffects of their taxing opening excursions.

Namibia head coach Allister Coetzee is positive his side will be up for the challenge. He sees many similarities between the Pumas and upcoming rivals Los Teros, aspects of the game not lost on his side from the opening match.

“We are facing a Uruguayan team with massive line speed that will try to fluster teams into making mistakes, we have to look after the ball and possession. We have to improve our first-up tackles as they also have experienced backs who could exploit that,” Coetzee said in his update on Monday.

“South Americans are big up front and our set piece and physicality will have to be accurate. This is a very important match for us and it will give us a great indication of what we need to prepare for against our Rugby World Cup Pool A counterparts and where their strengths lie.”

Namibia will be without Helarius Kisting and possibly Torsten van Jaarsveld, who was a triple try scorer against Argentina, through injury.

Kisting will miss the rest if the tour after suffering a right forearm fracture which is expected to keep him out of action for at least six weeks.

He was due to undergo an operation on Monday evening in Montevideo.

“It’s very unfortunate, and you feel for Helarius who has worked hard to earn the starting bid position. It’s part of the game and we are hoping for a quick recovery. I know it is a race against time but I am positive that he can still play a role in the upcoming Rugby World Cup,” Coetzee said.

“Although not ideal, it does give other players great opportunities; Damian Stevens to start and Jacques Theron to play off the bench.”

Van Jaarsveld suffered a blow to the eye in the arduous encounter against the second-string Pumas on Saturday.

“Scans confirmed that there is no fracture to the eye socket and no damage to the eye itself. The bruise and swelling will be closely monitored during the course of the week in order to determine whether he will be available against Uruguay.”