Coetzee, Burger step in for Deysel


Needless to say, Johan Deysel was bullied online after the Marseille game – Antoine Dupont is very popular and he is France’s best player – and Jacques Burger stepped in for the Namibian captain along with Allister Coetzee.

“Johan Deysel is one of the kindest and most humble people I know. He likes to play hard and he enjoys his rugby. He didn’t want to injure Dupont at all, but that’s rugby for you. He apologized and I hope people forgive him,” said Burger, a former Namibian and Saracens player.

Coetzee, former Springbok coach who currently holds Namibia’s coaching reins, described the tackle as an unfortunate incident.

“It was not intentional at all and everything happened so quickly. Dupont is not the tallest guy, while Johan is by no means a dirty player. He has a clean record and he is a good defender.”

“It (the red card decision) is certainly not unfair, but it is sad that it had to happen to him. He is the captain, a fearless player and the glue that holds the team together,” said Coetzee.

The incident took place in the 46th minute of the Namibians’ World Cup match against France.

The 31-year-old Deysel was initially sent off with a yellow card after he and the French captain butted heads, but the bunker official replaced it with a red card a short time later.

In contrast, Dupont was rushed to a hospital to determine the extent of his injury and the French rugby bosses later confirmed that he had suffered a fracture to his zygomatic bone (cheekbone arch).

Meanwhile, the Namibian also had a sincere message ready for the French rugby captain.

“I would like to convey my best wishes to Antoine Dupont. I certainly didn’t do it on purpose. Everything happened very quickly and I couldn’t get my head out of the way soon enough. I know the rules and regulations and I immediately knew that I had made a mistake,” said Deysel.

According to the 31-year-old center, he also apologized to Fabian Galthié (France coach) immediately after the match.

“I conveyed my best wishes to Antoine personally and via the French team doctor. He is a wonderful player and person and I wish him a speedy recovery.”