Ryan Nyambe asked to be left out of the Namibia squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers to help push his claims for a starting place at Rovers.

The Rovers defender has made two Carabao Cup starts this season but has been limited to just nine minutes of Championship football.

The 21-year-old, who reached a century of Rovers appearances in the second round cup defeat at Sheffield United, admitted after the match he felt it would be difficult to regain his place in the side with Elliott Bennett, who has started all six matches at right back, having been made club captain.

Boss Tony Mowbray offered hope to Nyambe, saying he will get plenty of opportunities throughout the season, and the defender has opted to stay at Rovers rather than go on international duty.

Nyambe pledged his allegiance to the country of his birth earlier this year, after protracted talks, and represented them in all three of their Africa Cup of Nations matches in June.

However, caretaker coach Bobby Samaria, who replaced Ricardo Mannetti after the tournament in Egypt, said Nyambe was one of two European-based players granted permission not to feature in the 2022 World Cup qualifying double-header against Eritrea this month.

"We agreed that for now, they fight for places at their respective clubs, and later on we consider them,” Samaria said.

Namibia, ranked 122nd in the FIFA rankings, qualified for just their second ever AFCON tournament this summer.

They were handed a particularly tough group, but fought valiantly, losing 1-0 to Morocco and South Africa before a 4-1 defeat to Ivory Coast.

Nyambe has played much of his football for Rovers at right back, but operated as part of a back three for the Brave Warriors. And he hopes that will give Mowbray some food for thought in his bid win back a starting spot.

On his experience at the tournament, Nyambe said: “It was completely different.

“I played centre back during the whole campaign and it was a good experience that I feel I’ve learned a lot from.

“I came back at the start of pre-season and the gaffer has played me a few games there.

“I think I’ve put that in to the back of his mind as well as a good option to have.”

The squad, without Nyambe, travelled to Eritrea and the first leg will take place on September 4 with the return fixture at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek on Tuesday, September 10.

Even without Nyambe, and Manfred Starke, who recently moved to Kaiserslautern, caretaker coach Samaria has belief in the 23-man squad he has selected and believes they can go on to enjoy a successful qualifying campaign.

“It was not easy to select this team. We have players missing with injuries and some on trials across the world,” he told his Federation’s website.

“But Namibia is blessed with talent and now the players in have to step up and deliver.

“I believe in these guys to go and do the job and see how far we can go in this qualifiers.

“Some players are unattached and this also gives them the platform to raise their hands and maybe get noticed for their immense talent.”