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Uanivi to lead Namibia in Rugby World Cup opener vs Italy

Commuters stand next an advertising picture for the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup in the Tokyo subway, Japan, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. The Rugby World Cup starts Friday, Sept. 20, with Japan playing Russia, and ends with the final on Nov. 2. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

TOKYO (AP) -- Namibia head coach Phil Davies has elevated lock Tjiuee Uanivi to lead the team in the absence of Johan Deysel for its Rugby World Cup opener against Italy.

Namibia is participating in its sixth World Cup and scrumhalf Eugene Jantjies will feature in his fourth if he comes off the bench against the Italians in a Pool B game on Sunday at Hanazono Rugby Stadium.

Center Darryl De La Harpe was selected in the centers to make his 50th test appearance for Namibia.

The squads for Sunday's three group games are scheduled to be announced before the tournament opener between host Japan and Russia at Tokyo Stadium later Friday.

Defending champion New Zealand and two-time champion South Africa are meeting Saturday in the first of the Pool B games.

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Namibia lineup: Johan Tromp, Chad Plato, Justin Newman, Darryl De La Harpe, JC Greyling, Cliven Loubser, Damian Stevens; Janco Venter, Wian Conradie, Rohan Kitshoff, Tjiuee Uanivi (captain), PJ Van Lill, Johannes Coetzee, Torsten George Van Jaarsveld, Andre Rademeyer. Reserves: Louis van der Westhuizen, AJ De Klerk, Nelius Theron, Johan Retief, Max Katjijeko, Eugene Jantjies, Helarius Axasman Kisting, Lesley Klim.

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