Full steam ahead for Namibia

The Namibians are just a few days away from making their sixth appearance at the Rugby World Cup.

16 September 2019 | Sports

SUPERSPORT



Namibia's road to Japan 2019 has been a somewhat rocky one, but the gritty bunch of players they have assembled will be hoping to be more than just a team that keeps the score line down at the tournament.

The Namibians qualified for the event by winning the African Cup tournament to beat out several other African hopefuls and secure their place in Japan, continuing a trend that dates back to 1999.

And while few will give them a chance at the World Cup, Welsh coach Phil Davies and his Welsh assistants Mark Jones and Dale McIntosh will be hoping to prove a few people wrong.

A documentary takes an in-depth look at the Namibian rugby team who have qualified for the World Cup in Japan, drawn in a tough pool with South Africa, New Zealand, Italy and Canada.

The Namibians have struggled for game time in the last 18 months but have at least played three warm-up games, beating a Sharks XV 43-0 before two wins over the Southern Kings – 28-22 and 21-17 completed their World Cup preparations.

While they are still reeling from the shock retirement of Renaldo Bothma, their captain, shortly before the tournament, French-based midfielder Johan Deysel will lead them into the tournament.

Scrumhalf Eugene Jantjies will play a fourth consecutive World Cup while three other players will play in their third World Cups. They are lock PJ van Lill, midfielder Darryl de la Harpe and flanker Rohan Kitshoff. Namibia's squad includeds four players who ply their trade in South Africa, another four based in France and one each in England, Romania and Wales.

Namibia have played a total of 19 games in Rugby World Cups since 1999 without ever having won one.

Their worst performance was when they were beaten 142-0 by Australia in the 2003 tournament while their best performance was losing by a point to Georgia 17-16 in 2015.

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