Johan Retief missed his side's final World Cup game with a gory but unusual injury
Spider cam is not the only spider lurking at this Rugby World Cup. The Namibia spider bite is certainly the most freakish injury we’ve maybe ever heard of and definitely at this tournament in France.
Forward Johan Retief missed his side’s final Pool A fixture against Uruguay after suffering a suspected spider bite which got infected very badly and caused him considerable pain in the chest region.
Retief, a second-row/No 8, can count himself extremely unlucky not to feature against Los Teros having played every minute of Namibia’s first three defeats. But what exactly happened to the 27-year-old?
Namibia spider bite – what exactly happened?
“It’s not good,” back-row Richard Hardwick told Rugby World, after the 36-26 loss to Uruguay. “He’s got a big hole in himself. He just came off the (last) game and it looked like a little ingrown hair. The next day there was two spots and then following that over the next three days he had a lot of pain in his chest.
“As the week went on it got really infected and got quite deep, he was and still is in a lot of pain. I feel for him. It’s really strange we don’t really know what it is but the only thing that really makes sense is spiders.
“I’ve seen people have spider bites but this is much worse. It was quite deep and infected but the medical staff did a good job and got onto it as good as possible. In those instances if it is a spider bite, that could be something really bad. They did a good job to clean it out and stop the damage. I hope he goes well.”
Coach Allister Coetzee confirmed there were visible bite marks on Retief’s skin. He said: “There was a massive abscess on his pectoral muscle and they had to do a minor cut, an operation on it. Whether it was through a spider or not, I am not sure. Initially, that was one of the diagnoses but it could be something else. I am not 100 per cent sure. There were some bite marks on it obviously.”
Centre Alzino Isaacs revealed he wanted to touch the bite but it was too painful for Retief. He said: “It was [pretty nasty]. When he told us we were like ‘how did you get [it?] Did you bring it from Namibia?’ I wanted to touch it [the bite] but he says it is pretty sensitive.
“So it was unfortunate and it was a tough loss losing him. But I feel the guys who stepped in really stepped up to the plate.”