Rugby in 2015 will be a veritable voyage of discovery for Fylde RFC scrum-half Ryan De La Harpe.
And it’s one that few –if any – players in the third tier of the English club game can lay claim.
Namibian international De La Harpe, could make the transformation from a bread-and-butter National League One club match against Old Albanian – to a match against the powerful All Blacks in the World Cup.
And the venues are poles apart – from the Woodlands Memorial Ground to Wembley Stadium,
If De La Harpe makes it into the squad, it won’t be his first sample of World Cup rugby – he made three appearances as a replacement in the 2011 tournament against Fiji, South Africa and Wales.
Namibia have much to prove at the 2015 World Cup, having played 15 matches in all in the history of the competition, drawing a blank in all.
In Group C next year they meet world champions New Zealand as well as Argentina, Georgia and Tonga.
If De La Harpe keeps up his current run of form at Fylde, he should be in with a big shout. He returned after international duty with Fylde as they beat Cinderford 35-11 at the Woodlands in their latest league fixture on Saturday.
Fylde’s penchant for attacking rugby suits De La Harpe perfectly.
The player said of the Fylde philosophy: “It brings the kid out of me, running around, enjoying my rugby.
“We were buzzing (against Cinderford) and it is good to be back.
“The way we play at Fylde brings out the best not just in me, but everybody.
“We have a good coach with a good knowledge of the game and he keeps stretching us in every direction – that is what makes us better, challenging us week-in, week-out.”
De La Harpe, who played three out of four matches on the recent Namibian tour, says the intention is not just to make up the numbers at the World Cup.
He said: “I managed to get some good game-time with Namibia, which I am happy about – there are four or five scrum-halves competing for a place in the team, but only two of us who played on this tour.
“The coach wanted to have a look at (different) combinations.
“At this point in time, I can’t count my chickens and I am going to have to wait and see (if selected)
“If I do, it would be a really proud moment, not just for me, but my family and everyone that has supported me, specially the club for allowing me to go on the (recent) tour.
“The club was very supportive and looked after me, making it easier to focus on the rugby.”