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Namibia centre under the knife

NEWS: Namibia centre Le Roux Malan has undergone “successful” surgery after suffering a fracture and dislocation to his right ankle, according to coach Allister Coetzee.

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Malan sustained the injury in the 17th minute of the Pool A match against New Zealand which the All Blacks won 71-3.

The match was delayed for several minutes as Malan received on-pitch treatment in Toulouse.

“From a physical point of view, he was operated on last night,” Coetzee said Saturday.

“There’s a fracture and a dislocation, so it’s quite tough for him.

“The sooner they’ve done the operation, the better for his recovery and also for the season ahead. Very successful operation that he had, according to the doctor.”

Coetzee praised the All Blacks for gifting Malan, who will soon return home and be replaced by an as yet-unknown outside back, a signed New Zealand jersey.

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“It says a lot about the sportsmanship of this World Cup, it’s a good gesture from the All Blacks,” said Coetzee, the ex-Springbok coach.

“That is not just saying the ethos and the culture and the values of rugby, but actually living and feeling it. That to me is unbelievable of the All Blacks to do something like that.”

Backrow forward Adriaan Booysen also sustained a dislocated shoulder and is a doubt for Namibia’s next game, against hosts France in Marseille on Thursday.

The shoulder, Coetzee said, “came back easily but we don’t know the extent of the trauma in the shoulder in this point in time”.

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“We’ll make a final call on him, I don’t want to rush that call.”

– Learn the tempo –

Coetzee said after the mauling by the All Blacks that their goal was not necessarily France, especially with a short turnaround.

“Look, our World Cup is about to start, we are building for that last game, we’ve got our objectives still in sight,” he said in reference to their final poll match against Uruguay in Lyon on September 27.

“If we don’t get any more injuries, we will be fine for the last game.

“We have got France next and our World Cup is about our last game. We have to do better at set-piece and we have to get better at looking after the ball.”

Namibia, in their seventh World Cup, are on a losing streak of 24 games, the closest they’ve come to victory a one-point defeat by Georgia in 2015.

Coetzee said Tier 2 teams like Namibia needed more exposure against higher-ranked teams.

“The first thing is we appreciate the support of World Rugby, and they are really doing well,” he said, with a review of the World Cup scheduled in December in Australia.

“It is important that you cannot get all the support a year before (the World Cup), it has to be much earlier in the process.

“It takes players to build the capacity in terms of conditioning, it takes a while, it takes time, it’s not a quick fix. It’s not easy.”

Coetzee added: “The national side doesn’t have the privilege of playing in the Rugby Championship and other top competitions but they qualified to get to a World Cup.

“Hopefully in the future we get more of these games, whereby you learn about the tempo of the game, the pace of the game and the collisions. That is the difference with performance nations like us.”

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