Saving the best for last
Namibia's chance of winning their first-ever match at a Rugby World Cup could well come when they face Canada on 13 October, says Unam coach Johan Diergaardt.
09 September 2019 | Sports
“The win will depend on the first three matches, as they will be difficult. It also depends on how the coach and his team manage the players and keep them fresh throughout. Canada are definitely not better than us,” Diergaardt said. Namibia are in Pool B with Italy, who they will play on 22 September, the Springboks, who they play on 28 September, and New Zealand, who are the defending champions and who they will clash with on 6 October. The match against Canada will be their last in the group stages on 13 October. Namibia are rank outsiders and are aiming to end a 19-match losing streak since debuting at the Rugby World Cup 20 years ago.
Led by former Wales forward Phil Davies the Namibians came closest to ending the five-tournament horror run, when they lost by just one point to Georgia in England four years ago.
Although the Canadians gave the Namibians a 61-point hiding in a previous World Cup, they were ranked 21st on 2 September, only two places above the Africans. The Namibians are confident after picking up wins in two warm-up matches against South African provincial side, the Southern Kings. They won the first match 28-22 and their second this past Saturday 21-17.
Canada were, however, beaten 15-20 in their final tune-up match on Saturday.
Namibia's World Cup squad is as follows:
Forwards (18) - Andre Rademeyer, Nelius Theron, Desiderius Sethie, AJ de Klerk, Johannes Coetzee, Obert Nortje, Louis van der Westhuizen, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Tjiuee Uanivi, Johan Retief, Thomasau Forbes, Rohan Kitshoff, Max Katjijeko, Prince !Gaoseb, Wian Conradie, PJ van Lill, Adriaan Booysen and Janco Venter.
Backs (13) - Cliven Loubser, Helarius Kisting, Damian Stevens, Eugene Jantjies, Darryl de la Harpe, Johan Deysel, Justin Newman, JC Greyling, Johann Tromp, Chad Plato, Lesley Klim, Janry du Toit and PJ Walters.