Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Squad news for the November international window

imageA quick roundup looking at the squad news ahead of the upcoming November window of international friendlies.

Samoa coach Stephen Betham has been able to add some fresh faces to the squad amongst the familiar names, with four players with Super Rugby experience putting their hand up for selection.
Alofa Alofa

Possibly the most notable of those players is Alofa Alofa, who moved from the title winning Waratahs to La Rochelle over the summer where he has started very well as a top finisher. Still only 23 years old his availability is a big bonus for Samoa.

Also on the wing there is a recall for Ken Pisi, who has been out of favour since making his debut back in June 2012, only winning 1 cap from the bench since. But some outstanding early season form for Northampton sees him preferred to other options Fautua Otto who was the choice in June or Sinoti Sinoti.

There is no recall though for Alesana Tuilagi who hasn't shone at Newcastle, nor Sailosi Tagicakibau who on the contrary has settled in well at his new club Wasps. With experienced David Lemi retained as captain alongside the younger options of Alofa and Pisi.

Another call up from Super Rugby is Hurricanes centre Rey Lee-Lo, whose addition is timely with George Pisi unfortunately puling his hamstring during a Champions Cup tie and Paul Williams still out with a thigh injury.

New to the squad is Counties Manukau utility back Ahsee Tuala, who has been playing fly half most recently but will likely compete with Fa'atoina Autagavaia for the full back spot. The continued omission of James So'oialo, who last played in the testicle grabbing match against South Africa in June 2013, has confused some due to the excellent goal kicking he offers.

Another new cap in the squad is another Counties Manukau fly half in Michael Stanley who is a member of the famous Kiwi family that includes former All Blacks Joe, Jeremy and Benson. Whilst the two scrum halves picked as understudies to star Kahn Fotuali'i have been plucked out from New Zealand club rugby in Pele Cowley of Suburbs (Auckland) and Jack Taulapapa of Johnsonville (Wellington), a 21 year old apprentice plumber picked up by backs coach Alama Ieremia. Their shock selection comes at the expense of Jeremy Su'a.

The forwards are mostly just the same as they were in June. But there are two new additions one being Otago and Highlanders back row TJ Ioane, the other being former Reds and now Treviso utility front row Albert Anae. Tighthead prop Cencus Johnston is missing through a calf injury.

Forwards | LH: Logovi'i Mulipola (Leicester), Zak Taulafo (Stade Français) | HK: Albert Anae (Treviso), Ole Avei (Bordeaux), Ti'i Paulo (Clermont) | TH: James Johnston (Saracens), Anthony Perenise (Bristol) | LK: Fa'atiga Lemalu (Munakata Sanix Blues), Daniel Leo (London Irish), Filo Paulo (Cardiff Blues), Joe Tekori (Toulouse) | FL: Maurie Fa'asavalu (Oyonnax), Jack Lam (Bristol), Ofisa Treviranus (London Irish) | N8: TJ Ioane (Otago), Kane Thompson (Newcastle), Taiasina Tuifu'a (Bordeaux).

Backs | SH: Pele Cowley (Suburbs), Kahn Fotuali'i (Northampton), Jack Taulapapa (Johnsonville) | FH: Tusi Pisi (Suntory Sungoliath), Michael Stanley (Counties Manukau) | CT: Rey Lee-Lo (Counties Manukau), Alapati Leiua (Wasps), Johnny Leota (Sale), George Pisi (Northampton) | WG: Alofa Alofa (La Rochelle), David Lemi (Bristol), Ken Pisi (Northampton) | FB: Fa'atoina Autagavaia (Nevers), Ahsee Tuala (Counties Manukau).

08/11 15:00 – Italy | Stadio Cino e Lillo Del Duca, Ascoli Piceno | Ref: Steve Walsh
14/11 20:00 – Canada | Stade de la Rabine, Vannes | Ref: George Clancy
22/11 19:00 – England | Twickenham, London | Ref: Jaco Peyper

It would be a massive achievement for Japan to keep their winning run intact during the November series. The Cherry Blossoms have been heavily injury effected and Eddie Jones has opted to take some risks with young players in his selection for the 4 match month.

Fumiaki Tanaka and Shota Horie, who were the first two Japanese players in Super Rugby, are both missing. Horie is injured, whilst Tanaka who is said to have had a dip in form of late has been left out to play for the Barbarians against Australia. Although with just two scrum halves in the squad he will likely be added to the European section of the tour.

There are several others injured including loosehead prop Hisateru Hirashima, flankers Justin Ives, Michael Broadhurst and Ryuta Yasui, number 8's Ryu Holani and Kyosuke Horie, centres Craig Wing and Ryoto Nakamura plus wing Kenki Fukuoka. Japan head into the tour without a third of the starting team that beat Italy.

That means the likes of Takeshi Kizu and Atsushi Hiwasa will get chances to start, with the likes of young prop Keita Inagaki on the bench, 34 year old ex Hurricane Hayden Hopgood may get some action after his 1 cap against the Philippines earlier in the year, as could 2007 World Cup squad member Yuki Yatomi who is a rather bizarre selection. Other young players to have made the squad include uncapped tighthead Shinnosuke Kakinaga, lock Kazuhiko Usami and centre Ryohei Yamanaka returns from his 2011 moustache ban. There is also a call up for former Otago wing Karne Hesketh.
Amanaki Lelei Mafi

Perhaps the most intriguing new call up though is that of Amanaki Lelei Mafi, the 24 year old has come straight from Hanazono University to be regarded as a revelation in the Top League this season. His form saw him selected for Tonga, before being called up to Japan the next day and opting to play with the Cherry Blossoms instead. With Holani into his 30's and former captain Takashi Kikutani seemingly fading out of the selection picture, Mafi could launch a claim to be number 8 at the World Cup if he does well on this tour.

Forwards | LH: Keita Inagaki (Panasonic Wild Knights), Masataka Mikami (Toshiba Brave Lupus) | HK: Ryuhei Arita (Coca Cola West Red Sparks), Takeshi Kizu (Kobelco Steelers), Hiroki Yuhara (Toshiba Brave Lupus) | TH: Kensuke Hatakeyama (Suntory Sungoliath), Shinnosuke Kakinaga (Suntory Sungoliath), Hiroshi Yamashita (Kobelco Steelers) | LK: Shoji Ito (Kobelco Steelers), Shinya Makabe (Suntory Sungoliath), Hitoshi Ono (Toshiba Brave Lupus), Luke Thompson (Kintetsu Liners), Kazuhiko Usami (Canon Eagles) | FL: Hayden Hopgood (Kamaishi Seawaves), Michael Leitch (Toshiba Brave Lupus/Chiefs), Hendrik Tui (Suntory Sungoliath/Reds) | N8: Amanaki Lelei Mafi (NTT Shining Arcs).

Backs | SH: Atsushi Hiwasa (Suntory Sungoliath), Yuki Yatomi (Yamaha Jubilo) | FH: Toshiaki Hirose (Toshiba Brave Lupus), Kosei Ono (Suntory Sungoliath), Harumichi Tatekawa (Kubota Spears) | CT: Kotaro Matsushima (Suntory Sungoliath), Male Sa'u (Yamaha Jubilo/Melbourne Rebels), Yu Tamura (NEC Green Rockets), Ryohei Yamanaka (Kobelco Steelers) | WG: Yoshikazu Fujita (Waseda University), Karne Hesketh (Munakata Sanix Blues), Akihito Yamada (Panasonic Wild Knights) | FB: Ayumu Goromaru (Yamaha Jubilo).

01/11 05:00 – New Zealand Maori | Noevir Stadium, Kobe | Ref: Luke Pearce
08/11 05:00 –  New Zealand Maori | Chichibunomiya Stadium, Tokyo| Ref: Angus Gardner
15/11 14:00 – Romania | Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest | Ref: Stuart Berry
23/11 13:00 –  Georgia | Mikheil Meskhi Stadium, Tbilisi | Ref: Romain Poite

Coach John McKee was one of the earliest to name his November squad back early in October. There are no wholesale changes to the June selections other who are unavailable.

Locks Api Naikatini (broken arm) and Wame Lewaravu (broken collarbone) have both been ruled out, which has opened up a recall for Tasman's 200cm 120kg giant Tevita Cavubati who won his only 2 caps back in the 2011 Pacific Nations Cup. Also uncapped 29 years old Biarritz lock Nemia Soqeta is called up, he was first called up in June but withdrew himself to look after his newborn baby in New Zealand.

Another notable inclusion is that of Josh Matavesi who hasn't featured since November 2012, after being ruled out with concussion this time last year, then repeated hand injuries which he broke four times which hampered his Worcester career and ruled him out of last June. But he's now had a run of games at the Ospreys showing some excellent solid form, and won his place in the squad back where he will probably operate as a fly half in the 12 playing 10 role that Seremaia Bai has done. Meanwhile the veteran 35 year old Bai himself, now at Leicester, has been ruled out with a thigh injury.
Alipate Ratini

The two starting wingers from June Napolioni Nalaga and Sireli Bobo are both missing for 'other commitments', but Fiji are blessed with such vast amounts of wing talent that in their place they can call up the leading try scorer in the Top 14 Alipate Ratini (8 tries in 8 games), who will make his debut next month.

Two centres who return the squad after missing June through injury are former 7's captain Levani Botia of La Rochelle, and last season's Aviva Premiership leading try scorer Leicester Niki Goneva. Whilst two back rowers in Netani Talei (whose having surgery on a foot injury) and Rupeni Nasiga (broken ankle) are long term absences. Despite that there is no place for the experienced gargantuan number 8 Sisa Koyamaibole, with Masi Matadigo and Nemani Nagusa again preferred the options.

Forwards | LH: Campese Ma'afu (Nottingham), Jerry Yanuyanutawa (Glasgow) | HK: Peni Revai (Greater Sydney Rams), Talemaitoga Tuapati (Southland), Viliame Veikoso (Suva) | TH: Isei Colati (Nevers), Taniela Koroi (Wellington), Manasa Saulo (Timisoara) | LK: Tevita Cavubati (Tasman), Leone Nakarawa (Glasgow), Api Ratuniyarawa (Agen), Nemia Soqeta (Biarritz) | FL: Akapusi Qera (Montpellier), Malakai Ravulo (Farul Constanta), Dominiko Waqaniburotu (Brive) | N8: Masi Matadigo (Lyon), Nemani Nagusa (Tasman)

Backs | SH: Nemia Kenatale (Farul Constanta), Nikola Matawalu (Glasgow), Henry Seniloli (Treviso) | FH: Josh Matavesi (Ospreys), Jonetani Ralulu (Farul Constanta) | CT: Levani Botia (La Rochelle), Niki Goneva (Leicester), Nemani Nadolo (NEC Green Rockets/Crusaders), Asaeli Tikoirotuma (Harlequins) | WG: Timoci Nagusa (Montpellier), Alipate Ratini (Grenoble), Watisoni Votu (Perpignan) | FB: Metuisela Talebula (Bordeaux)

08/11 18:45 –  France | Stade Vélodrome, Marseille | Ref: Glen Jackson
15/11 14:30 – Wales | Millennium Stadium, Cardiff | Ref: Pascal Gauzère
21/11 20:00 –  USA | Stade de la Rabine, Vannes | Ref: John Lacey

Ben Tameifuna
The real headline addition to Tonga's November squad is World Cup winning coach Jake White who in a surprise move will help out as an adviser. There was another inn mammoth Chiefs tighthead prop Ben Tameifuna who made an All Blacks training squad back in 2012 and initially threw his name to Tonga, only to pull out and to recommit to his All Blacks dream, although he could return if it looks like he won't make the World Cup with New Zealand.

The Tongans have struggled for continuity in their squads in recent times, and after a disappointing June that had several players missing this one is no different. Sona Taumalolo, Elvis Taione, Joe Tuineau, Sione Kalamafoni, Taniela Moa, Kurt Morath, Sione Piukula and Vunga Lilo are all notable returnees who didn't play in the Pacific Nations Cup earlier this year.

Other players who have returned include veterans Lua Lokotui (34), Hale T-Pole (35) and Aleki Lutui (36). Whilst young uncapped Grenoble wing Daniel Kilioni (21), uncapped Counties Manukau number 8 Maama Vaipulu (25), along with Otulea Katoa (23), Tane Takulua (23) and Paul Ngauamo (24) keeping their spots add a bit more youth to what is otherwise one of the older squads around.

It's harder to keep track of who's dropped, injured or unavailable with the Tonga team with them offering little information and the team changing so much every time. But among the absentees include Will Helu, Josh Afu, Fraser Anderson, Alaska Taufa, Steve Mafi and Daniel Faleafa.

LH: Tevita Mailau (Mont-de-Marsan), Sona Taumalolo (Racing Métro); HK: Aleki Lutui (Gloucester), Paul Ngauamo (Oyonnax), Elvis Taione (Exeter); TH: Sila Puafisi (Gloucester), Taione Vea (London Welsh); LK: Lisiate Fa'aoso (Bayonne), Lua Lokotui (Béziers), Joe Tuineau (Lyon); FL: Viliami Fihaki (Sale), Sione Kalamafoni (Gloucester), Nili Latu (NEC Green Rockets), Hale T-Pole (Havelock SC); N8: Vili Ma'afu (Oyonnax), Maama Vaipulu (Counties Manukau/Chiefs).

SH: Taniela Moa (Pau), Tomasi Palu (Doncaster), Tane Takulua (Northland); FH: Latiume Fosita (Northland), Kurt Morath (Kubota Spears), Liueli Simote (Toloa Old Boys); CT: Sione Piukula (Perpignan), Siale Piutau (Yamaha Jubilo); WG: Otulea Katoa (Southland), Daniel Kilioni (Grenoble), Fetu'u Vainikolo (Exeter); FB: David Halaifonua (Bergerac), Vunga Lilo (Tarbes).

08/11 13:00 –  Georgia | Mikheil Meskhi Stadium, Tbilisi | Ref: Pascal Gauzère
15/11 16:45 – USA | Kingsholm, Gloucester | Ref: Mike Fraser
22/11 14:30 –  Scotland | Rugby Park, Kilmarnock | Ref: JP Doyle

Coach Milton Haig will be without his two of his most vital experienced forwards in Mamuka Gorgdze who's had an injury ridden start to his time at Toulon, and Clermont tighthead Davit Zirakashvili.

The squad is much more injury effected than it has been for a while in actual fact, continued absence of the injury prone duo Vasil Kakovin and Jaba Bregvadze mean the whole first choice front row is missing. Whilst props Davit Khinchagishvili, Anton Peikrishvili, Shalva Sutiashvili and Tedo Zibzibadze most would have likely featured in the 23. The issues with the props means that only Mikheil Nariashvili of the 4 selected is first choice at his club, whilst there is a slightly surprising omission of Lekso Kaulashvili who had some impressive performances for La Rochelle.

The injuries mean there could be chances for younger players such as Lasha Lomidze and Leicester trialist Giga Tkhiliashvili over the month, but the losses particularly of Gorgodze and Zirakashvili will be felt hard.

In the backs there is some call ups for two teenagers in Muraz Giorgadze and Giorgi Aptsiauri, both are not that likely to play but could be part of a new generation of backs to soon emerge alongside the already established Merab Sharikadze and Tamaz Mchedlidze.  

Forwards | LH: Mikheil Nariashvili (Montpellier), Zurab Zhvania (Stade Français) | HK: Simon Maisuradze (Valence d'Agen), Shalva Mamukashvili (Sale) | TH: Levan Chilachava (Toulon), Davit Kubriashvili (Stade Français) | LK: Levan Datunashvili (Aurillac), Lasha Lomidze (Béziers), Kote Mikautadze (Toulon), Giorgi Nemsadze (Tarbes) | FL: Giorgi Chkhaidze (Lille), Vito Kolelishvili (Clermont), Giga Tkhilaishvili (Batumi) | N8: Dimitri Basilaia (Perpignan), Beka Bitsadze (Locomotive).

Backs | SH: Giorgi Begadze (Kochebi), Vazha Khutsishvili (Kharebi) FH: Lasha Khmaladze (Lelo), Lasha Malaguradze (Bagnères) | CT: Giorgi Aptsiauri (AIA), Davit Kacharava (Enisey-STM), Merab Sharikadze (Aurillac) | WG: Muraz Giorgadze (Armazi), Irakli Machkhaneli (Armazi), Tamaz Mchedlidze (Agen), Sandro Todua (Lelo) | FB: Merab Kvirikashvili (Montluçon), Beka Tsiklauri (Locomotive).

08/11 13:00 –  Tonga | Mikheil Meskhi Stadium, Tbilisi | Ref: Pascal Gauzère
16/11 14:30 – Ireland | Aviva Stadium, Dublin | Ref: JP Doyle
23/11 13:00 –  Japan | Mikheil Meskhi Stadium, Tbilisi | Ref: Romain Poite

In response to the decisive loss suffered to the hands of Georgia, coach Lynn Howells has opted to bring back some older hands into the squad possibly after a young team failed to impress in the IRB Nations Cup in June.
Ovidiu Tonita

The most notable return is that of 34 year old veteran of three World Cups Ovidiu Tonita, who is now at Fédérale 1 side Aix-en-Provence and last played for the side 21 months ago after a serious injury curtailed his time at his previous club Carcassonne. Whether he will be of effect is very much in doubt though, especially after the lengthy injury sustained at his age, and he looked past his best prior to that as well.

Meanwhile 30 year old Daniel Carpo, who's been in and out of the side squad since the World Cup, keeps his place after playing in the IRB Nations Cup, and could feature for the Oaks in a non-IRB Nations Cup for the first time for 20 months.

Out injured from the first team are flanker Viorel Lucaci and wing Ionut Dumitru, whilst flanker Valentin Ursache who has only just returned a reasonably lengthy injury with Oyonnax which ruled him out of the entire ENC is also absent again, possibly through an agreement with his club.

Georgian hooker Otar Turashvili is also back ahead of Eugen Capatana, in what seems to be a theme developing that he plays in June and November but completely misses the ENC. He's in his third year with Romania now and it happened every time.

There are some newer members called up to the outer rim of the squad. Lock Marius Anonescu takes Cristian Munteanu's place in the squad and centre Andrei Ilei makes the squad as well; both players made their debut in the IRB Nations Cup in June. Wing Robert Neagu is the only new cap in the squad, and Florin Ionita is dropped to make way.

Uncapped 32 year old Grigoras Diaconescu takes his place in the merry go round of reserve scrum halves Romania pick, if he gets a cap (not at all guaranteed) he will become the second oldest player to make their debut for the Oaks. Another older player recalled is Ionut Botezatu, who with Dumitru out may well get another go on the wing as the other replacements hardly impressed, he will be looking to avenge his horror defensive performance against the USA 2 years ago. Botezatu and Neague at wing are preferred to Florin Ionita who has been dropped, and Stephen Hihetah who is unlikely to be seen again in an international squad.

Forwards | LH: Mihai Lazar (Castres), Constantin Pristavita (Baia Mare), Andrei Ursache (Carcassonne) | HK: Andrei Radoi (Ealing), Otar Turashvili (Farul Constanta) | TH: Paulica Ion (Perpignan), Horatiu Pungea (Lyon) | LK: Marius Antonescu (Tarbes), Alin Coste (Carcassonne), Valentin Poparlan (Timisoara), Marius Sirbe (Blagnac) | FL: Mihai Macovei (Massy), Vlad Nistor (Castres), Ovidiu Tonita (Aix-en-Provence) | N8: Stelian Burcea (Timisoara), Daniel Carpo (Timisoara).

Backs | SH: Grigoras Diaconescu (Steaua Bucuresti), Florin Surugiu (CSM Bucuresti) | FH: Valentin Calafeteanu (Timisoara) | CT: Catalin Dascalu (Steaua Bucuresti), Csaba Gal (Baia Mare), Andrei Ilie (Farul Constanta), Florin Vlaicu (Farul Constanta) | WG: Ionut Botezatu (Baia Mare), Madalin Lemnaru (Timisoara), Robert Neagu (Farul Constanta) | FB: Catalin Fercu (Saracens), Dorin Manole (Orthez).

08/11 16:30 –  USA | Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest | Ref: Leighton Hodges
15/11 14:00 – Japan | Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest | Ref: Stuart Berry
22/11 16:30 –  Canada | Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest | Ref: Nick Briant

After a disappointing winless June, the pressure is on coach Kieran Crowley this month to reassure fans with some results and at least 2 wins from the internationals will be expected.
Richard Thorpe

The squad is largely as expected other than the addition of back rower Richard Thorpe, a 29 year old Englishman currently with London Welsh and who previously gained over 100 matches at top flight level with London Irish and Leicester.

Canada have suffered some bad injury issues over the last couple of years, and it looked like they would have a nearer fully fit selection this time around but were hit by more bad luck with first choice fly half Harry Jones and full back Matt Evans both picking up blows over the course of October. Also skipper Tyler Ardron although named in the squad has not played for over a month with an ankle injury.

Another fly half injured is Liam Underwood meaning that utility back Connor Braid who has been thrown all over the backline could return to start there for the first time in a while, with Gordon McRorie and Pat Parfrey both other options used in the ARC. Jones' injury will be a nuisance for Crowley, who not managed to find any continuity at all in selecting a 10 since Ander Monro retired.

Other injuries include scrum half Phil Mack meaning both first choice half backs are out, and centres Phil Mackenzie and Mike Scholz both of whom also sat out last June injured too.

Along with Thorpe, there are two further uncapped players in Seb Pearson and Jordan Wilson-Ross. With an extra match against a RFU Championship XV scheduled outside the release window, and a match against relatively weaker opponents Namibia, it's likely most of the squad will get some sort of a chance over the course of the tour.

Forwards | LH: Hubert Buydens (Manawatu), Andrew Tiedemann (Plymouth Albion), Doug Wooldridge (Ontario Blues) | HK: Ray Barkwill (Ontario Blues), Aaron Carpenter (Cornish Pirates), Ryan Hamilton (BC Bears) | TH: Jake Illnicki (NSW Country Eagles), Jason Marshall (Hawke's Bay) | LK: Brett Beukeboom (Plymouth Albion), Jamie Cudmore (Clermont), Tyler Hotson (London Scottish), Jon Phelan (Doncaster) | FL: Nanyak Dala (Prairie Wolf Pack), Kyle Gilmour (Prairie Wolf Pack), John Moonlight (Ontario Blues), Jebb Sinclair (London Irish), Richard Thorpe (London Welsh) | N8: Tyler Ardron (Ospreys), Seb Pearson (Ontario Blues).

Backs | SH: Jamie Mackenzie (Ontario Blues), Gordon McRorie (Prairie Wolf Pack), Sean White (BC Bears) | FH: Connor Braid (London Scottish), Pat Parfrey (Atlantic Rock) | CT: Nick Blevins (Prairie Wolf Pack), Ciaran Hearn (Atlantic Rock), Jordan Wilson-Ross (Ontario Blues), Conor Trainor (BC Bears) | WG: Sean Duke (BC Bears), Jeff Hassler (Ospreys), Taylor Paris (Agen), DTH van der Merwe (Glasgow) | FB: James Pritchard (Bedford).

02/11 15:15 – image RFU Championship XV | Sixways Stadium, Worcester | Ref: Matthew Carley
07/11 19:00 –  Namibia | Eirias Park, Colwyn Bay | Ref: Stuart Berry
14/11 20:00 – Samoa | Stade de la Rabine, Vannes | Ref: George Clancy
22/11 16:30 –  Romania | Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest | Ref: Nick Briant

USAR CEO Nigel Melville secured the release of all players for the important All Blacks game, although the Eagles won't have them all available for the European leg of their November tests.

Many players will be coming and going over the course of the month, so it's best to take a look at the USA's list of who's available per match. The nature of the tour will mean many players will get a chance to play, and that there are some surprise recalls in the squad.

Mate Moeakiola

The 36 year old Mate Moeakiola has been recalled for all the games 3 years since his last cap. His call up comes from Fry's unavailability for 3 of the games, Lamositele being out with injury, and the American struggle for props. Youngsters Angus MacLellan and Ben Tarr will also be looking to make their debuts in the European leg of the tour.

At lock with Samu Manoa and Hayden Smith going back to their clubs after the All Blacks game, it has opened up an opportunity for Waratahs lock Greg Peterson to commit himself to the USA. John Cullen will also be in line to make his debut.

In the back row with Scott LaValla missing the Romania game and Cam Dolan all after the All Blacks game, it has opened up a chance for a recall for John Quill and a possible debut for Matt Trouville, whilst Kyle Sumsion could make his first start for the national team. All in all, the USA could be heading into Romania with a very inexperienced pack, something that Canada fell foul of doing last year.

In the backs the loss of Blaine Scully after the All Blacks game has seen an unexpected return for Takudzwa Ngwenya, who was thought to be at loggerheads with the coaches. However despite Ngwenya's recall, he's not in the squad to face the All Blacks with Tim Stanfill, Troy Hall and Brett Thompson preferred.

The backs are in general less disrupted, but there are two notable serious injuries in fly half Toby L'Estrange (broken leg) and wing Luke Hume (broken ankle). Aside from Scully and Chris Wyles not playing the European games, only Thretton Palamo who will miss the Romania game is not available for all the European games from the backs.

New Zealand Game:
Forwards | LH: Eric Fry (Newcastle), Nick Wallace (Glendale) | HK: Tom Coolican (Sydney Stars), Phil Thiel (Life) | TH: Olive Kilifi (Seattle Saracens), Mate Moeakiola (Castanet), Ben Tarr (Souths) | LK: Samu Manoa (Northampton), Hayden Smith (Saracens), Lou Stanfill (Seattle Saracens), Tai Tuisamoa (London Scottish) | FL: Todd Clever (NTT Shining Arcs), Scott LaValla (Stade Français) | N8: Danny Barrett (SFGG), Cam Dolan (Northampton).

Backs | SH: Mike Petri (NYAC) | FH: Adam Siddall (Old Blue), Shalom Suniula (Seattle Saracens) | CT: Seamus Kelly, Folau Niua (SFGG), Andrew Suniula (Old Blue) | WG: Blaine Scully (Leicester), Tim Stanfill (Seattle Saracens), Brett Thompson (Edinburgh) | FB: Troy Hall (NYAC), Chris Wyles (Saracens).

European Tour additional call ups:
Forwards | LH: Angus MacLellan (Davenport University) | LK: John Cullen (Seattle Saracens), Greg Peterson (North Harbour Rays/Waratahs) | FL: John Quill (Dolphin), Kyle Sumsion (BYU) | N8: Matt Trouville (Seattle Saracens) | Backs | CT: Thretton Palamo (Saracens) | WG: Tim Maupin (Trinity College), Takudzwa Ngwenya (Biarritz).
* Fry, Manoa, Smith, Dolan, Scully and Wyles all miss the European tour.
** LaValla and Palamo miss the Romania game.
*** Tuisamoa, Barrett and Niua miss the Fiji game.
01/11 19:30 –  New Zealand | Soldier Field, Chicago | Ref: Craig Joubert
08/11 16:30 –  Romania | Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest | Ref: Leighton Hodges
15/11 16:45 – Tonga | Kingsholm, Gloucester | Ref: Mike Fraser
21/11 20:00 –  Fiji | Stade de la Rabine, Vannes | Ref: John Lacey

The Welwitschias coach Danie Vermeulen has enlisted Welsh coach Phil Davies as technical adviser following his disastrous stint in charge of the Cardiff Blues as they approach a tough 4 match tour of Europe in preparation for the World Cup.
Torsten van Jaarsveld

They will be skippered by Jacques Burger who returns to the squad for the first time since the World Cup after missing Namibia's minute amount of matches since through injury. There is also notable call ups of Western Province hooker Neil Rautenbach, Cheetahs hooker Torsten van Jaarsveld and Brive lock Tjuee Uanivi all who are in line to win their first international caps.

Burger however will only lead the side for one game against Canada, with Rohan Kitshoff taking over the duties for the other games.

Missing in the squad is Pumas back rower Renaldo Bothma who is out with a fractured cheekbone. Béziers wing Conrad Marais is also out with injury.

4 years ago before the 2011 World Cup, Namibia really didn't get to play any World Cup calibre opponents, so playing Canada and French Barbarians in particular should be useful for their staff to gauge where they stand with 12 months to go.

Forwards | LH: Franklin Bertholini (United), Jaco Engels (United), Jonny Redelinghuys (Wanderers) | HK: Rathony Bekker (Western Suburbs), Neil Rautenbach (Western Province), Torsten van Jaarsveld (Free State Cheetahs/Cheetahs) | TH: André Schlechter (Wanderers), Casper Viviers (Saint Nazaire) | LK: Morné Blom (Wanderers), Nico Esterhuyse (Wanderers), Tjuee Uanivi (Brive) | FL: Jacques Burger (Saracens), Tinus du Plessis (Wanderers), Thomasua Forbes (Western Suburbs), Rohan Kitshoff (Western Province) | N8: PJ van Lill (Aurillac).

Backs | SH: Eneill Buitendag (Wanderers), Ryan de la Harpe (Fylde) | FH: Shaun Kaizemi (Western Suburbs), Theuns Kotzé (Bourg-en-Bresse) | CT: Darryl de la Harpe (Western Suburbs), Johan Deysel (Leopards), JC Greyling (Old Wesley), David Philander (Spotswood United) | WG: Danie Dames (Griquas), Malcolm Moore (Wanderers), Johan Tromp (Wanderers) | FB: Chrysander Botha (Exeter), Russell van Wyk (University of Namibia).

29/10 19:30 –  Germany | Trustco United Rugby Club, Windhoek | Ref: Marius Jonker
07/11 19:00 –  Canada | Eirias Park, Colwyn Bay | Ref: Stuart Berry
14/11 20:00 – 600px Azzurro Celeste Blu Reale.svg French Barbarians | Stade Mayol, Toulon | Ref: Leighton Hodges
22/11 15:00 –  Portugal | Estádio Nacional, Lisbon | Ref: Federico Anselmi

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