Here is everything you need to know about the African side's fortunes at the global showcase.
Have Namibia Played In The Rugby World Cup Before?
The Welwitschias are in the formidable Group B with South Africa, New Zealand, Canada and Italy at Japan 2019 – but have Namibia played in the Rugby World Cup before?
Well, they have featured in every single World Cup since 1999. Namibia were not invited to the inaugural event in 1987 and did not enter in 1991 and did not qualify in 1995.
They made it to the group stages in 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015. However, the African side are still to win a first ever match in the global showcase. But in 2015, in Exeter, there was jubilation when fly-half Theuns Kotze crossed for a late try against Georgia – the 17-16 defeat gave the Namibians their first RWC bonus point.
Incidentally, Kotze is the top point-scorer for Namibia in World Cups, with 59 points. However no one has ever scored more than two World Cup tries for Namibia.
Netting that bonus point against Georgia was quite some feat, considering the Welwitschias suffered three sin-bins and the loss of concussed skipper Jacques Burger that day.
Despite the fact they have never won a game at the World Cup, their lowest moment is not hard to identify.
The mental scars of Adelaide 2003 run deep, as they wilted against competition hosts Australia, claiming the record for biggest loss in RWC history. Namibia, so ill-prepared that they had to block out sponsors’ logos on borrowed shorts earlier in the tournament, were obliterated 142-0 by the Wallabies. The hosts chalked up 32 line breaks. “To get to heaven you have to go through hell first,” said coach Dave Waterston at the time.
As former front-rower Kees Lensing told RW of that fateful day: ““I remember going into the changing room at half-time – the score was 69-0 – and we had to walk to the left of the pavilion. I was thinking, ‘We’re in big trouble’.”
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