Namibia national rugby union team

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Namibia
Logo Namibia Rugby.svg
Union Namibia Rugby Union
Nickname(s) Welwitschias
Emblem(s) African Fish Eagle
Ground(s) Hage Geingob Rugby Stadium
Coach(es) Namibia Danie Vermeulen
Captain(s) Jacques Burger
Most caps Eugene Jantjies (36)
Top scorer Jaco Coetzee (335)
Most tries Gerhard Mans (27)
Team kit
Change kit
First international
South AfricaSouth West Africa 0 – 9 British and Irish Lions
(5 July 1955)
Largest win
 Namibia 112 – 0 Madagascar 
(June 15, 2002)
Largest defeat
 Australia 142 – 0 Namibia 
(October 25, 2003)
World Cup
Appearances 4 (First in 1999)
Best result Bottom of pool, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011

The Namibian rugby union team, nicknamed the Welwitschias or Biltongboere, is a professional national rugby team. They are a tier-three nation in the International Rugby Board (IRB) tier system, and have participated in four Rugby World Cup competitions since their first appearance in 1999. They are governed by the Namibia Rugby Union.

Namibia has been playing international rugby since the early 1900s. As well as having competed at the World Cup, Namibia annually competes in the Africa Cup. Until independence, players for Namibia were also eligible to represent South Africa, with Namibian-born Springboks including Jan Ellis and, more recently, Percy Montgomery. As of 29 July 2013 they are ranked 23rd in the world.[1]

History[edit]

Rugby union has been played in Namibia since 1916 when it was introduced by soldiers from South Africa who had invaded the German-run colony. Before Namibia gained its independence in 1990, the team, as South West Africa, played in South Africa's domestic club competition, the Currie Cup. The team achieved their best result in the 1989 season, where they finished third.

The Namibia Rugby Union was formed in March 1990, and it joined the International Rugby Board in the same month. Independence came too late for Namibia to qualify for Rugby World Cup 1991. Hardened by regular, tough competition in the Currie Cup, the first few years of Namibian rugby union were relatively successful, their highest point being 2–0 home series victories over Ireland and Italy in 1991. That year the Welwitschias won all 10 of their Tests, the others being five victories against Zimbabwe and one against Portugal in Lisbon. One of Namibia's players, Andre Stoop was signed by English champion rugby league club, Wigan.

During the international seasons Namibia played six games; the first of which was a 55–23 win over Zimbabwe. Following another victory over Zimbabwe, in 1993 Namibia played Wales in Windhoek, losing 23–38. Namibia completed big victories over the Arabian Gulf rugby team, Kenya and Zimbabwe in the initial rounds of 1995 Rugby World Cup qualifying.

Russia toured Namibia in 1994, defeating the home team 31–12 in Windhoek. Although Namibia defeated Zimbabwe that year, the team lost to Côte d'Ivoire and drew with Morocco (all in Casablanca). In 1996 Namibia played two matches; losing 13–15 to Zimbabwe, and then defeating them by one point in a subsequent meeting. They played two games in 1997 as well, losing to Tonga and Zimbabwe.

During 1998 Namibia took part in the African tournaments for 1999 Rugby World Cup qualification. They started out in Round 3, where they finished second in the pool behind Zimbabwe on points difference (defeating Zimbabwe but losing to Tunisia). Namibia defeated Côte d'Ivoire, Morocco and Zimbabwe to qualify for the 1999 Rugby World Cup.

The team's participation was put in doubt when the Namibian government's Sports Commission barred the team from participating in a South African competition it had been using as preparation, and threatened to stop the team from taking part in the World Cup. This followed criticisms from non-white rugby clubs that the Namibian Rugby Union displayed racist attitudes.[2] Ultimately, however, the team were allowed to take part.

The 1999 World Cup marked their debut at the tournament and since then they have been Africa's second representative alongside South Africa. While they suffered heavy defeats by France, Fiji and Canada, they took pride in scoring an early try and being level with France after 20 minutes.

However with a small player base, and lacking frequent or strong competition, the team has deteriorated in recent years. Their record in the World Cups has been poor as they have not yet managed a win. Their record defeat, 142–0 against Australia in the 2003 tournament, led to some questioning the presence of the minor teams at the tournament.

Namibia initially struggled in the qualifiers for the 2007 tournament, suffering a shock defeat to Kenya, their first ever to the African Great Lakes nation, and another to Tunisia. Following the Kenya loss, the Namibian squad slumped to 28th in the IRB rankings. However, after defeating Tunisia at home, the team was effectively through to two deciding matches against Morocco, to determine which of the two African nations would make it to France in 2007. Namibia convincingly won both legs, qualifying for the World Cup.

As the lowest ranked team at the start of the 2007 World Cup, Namibia was given no chance in its opening game of against Ireland. However, the Namibian squad frustrated Ireland, then the 5th ranked team in the world, and scored two tries for its narrowest World Cup loss of 17–32. They were convincingly beaten in their games with Argentina (63–3) and France (87–10). And, in the game in which they were seen as having the best chance to win, they suffered a disappointing 30–0 loss to Georgia, to end the tournament winless.

The African side was able to win the IRB Nations Cup in 2010.

Namibia achieved their fourth World Cup qualification in a row after defeating Côte d'Ivoire in 2011. They were drawn into Pool D, with South Africa, Wales, Fiji and Samoa. Their first match in the Rugby World Cup, held in New Zealand (at the Rotorua International Stadium) resulted in a defeat by Fiji by 45-29. Their second match in this tournament was a 49–12 loss to Samoa but the third was an 87-0 loss to South Africa. In their final pool game, Wales proved to be too strong, as Namibia conceded 12 tries in an 81-7 defeat. Theuns Kotzé provided his side's one consolation, as his conversion of a Heinz Koll try made him Namibia's all-time highest Rugby World Cup points scorer.

World Cup Record[edit]

World Cup record World Cup Qualification record
Year Round P W D L F A P W D L F A
AustraliaNew Zealand 1987 Not invited -
United KingdomRepublic of IrelandFrance 1991 Did not enter Did not enter
South Africa 1995 Did not qualify 6 4 1 1 218 104
Wales 1999 Pool Stage 3 0 0 3 42 186 5 4 0 1 127 78
Australia 2003 Pool Stage 4 0 0 4 28 310 4 3 0 1 197 73
France 2007 Pool Stage 4 0 0 4 30 212 6 4 0 2 192 96
New Zealand 2011 Pool Stage 4 0 0 4 44 266 4 3 1 0 115 58
England 2015 Qualified 7 5 0 2 289 159
Japan 2019 To be determined To be determined
Total 5/8 15 0 0 15 144 974 32 23 2 7 1138 568

Record against other Nations[edit]

Top 25 Rankings as 24 November 2014[3]
Rank Change* Team Points
1 Steady  New Zealand 93.70
2 Steady  South Africa 89.93
3 Steady  Ireland 85.48
4 Increase1  England 84.21
5 Decrease1  Australia 83.59
6 Increase1  Wales 79.94
7 Decrease1  France 79.66
8 Steady  Scotland 78.78
9 Steady  Argentina 78.23
10 Increase1  Samoa 75.39
11 Decrease1  Japan 74.70
12 Increase1  Fiji 74.57
13 Decrease1  Tonga 74.12
14 Steady  Italy 71.19
15 Steady  Georgia 70.76
16 Steady  United States 67.61
17 Increase1  Romania 67.38
18 Decrease1  Canada 66.83
19 Steady  Russia 64.12
20 Steady  Uruguay 63.58
21 Steady  Spain 60.65
22 Increase1  Portugal 58.56
23 Decrease1  Namibia 58.27
24 Steady  South Korea 57.22
25 Steady  Germany 56.32
*Change from the previous week
Namibia's Historical Rankings
Namibia IRB World Rankings.png
Source: World Rugby - Graph updated to 6 October 2014[3]

Their test match record against all nations, updated to 22 September 2011, is as follows:[4]

Team Mat Won Lost Draw  % For Aga Diff
 Arabian Gulf 1 1 0 0 100.00 64 20 +44
 Argentina 2 0 2 0 0.00 17 130 -113
 Australia 1 0 1 0 0.00 0 142 -142
 Canada 1 0 1 0 0.00 11 72 -61
 Fiji 2 0 2 0 0.00 43 116 -73
 France 4 0 4 0 0.00 59 183 -124
 Georgia 4 1 3 0 25.00 57 95 -38
 Germany 2 2 0 0 100.00 133 20 +113
 Hong Kong 1 1 0 0 100.00 22 12 +10
 Ireland 4 2 2 0 50.00 65 117 -52
 Italy 3 2 1 0 66.66 74 75 -1
 Ivory Coast 4 2 1 1 62.50 101 50 +51
 Kenya 5 4 1 0 80.00 267 68 +199
 Madagascar 3 2 1 0 66.66 221 74 +147
 Morocco 7 4 2 1 64.28 133 137 -4
 Portugal 6 5 1 0 83.33 209 96 +113
 Romania 4 1 3 0 25.00 55 95 -40
 Russia 2 0 2 0 0.00 27 61 -34
 Samoa 2 0 2 0 0.00 25 89 -64
 Senegal 3 3 0 0 100.00 68 40 +28
 South Africa 2 0 2 0 0.00 13 192 -179
 Spain 3 1 2 0 33.33 93 77 +16
 Tonga 1 0 1 0 0.00 14 20 -6
 Tunisia 8 5 3 0 62.50 175 138 +37
 Uganda 2 1 1 0 50.00 96 33 +63
 Uruguay 1 0 1 0 0.00 12 23 -11
 Wales 4 0 4 0 0.00 69 171 -102
 Zambia 2 2 0 0 100.00 132 20 +112
 Zimbabwe 25 23 2 0 92.00 884 505 +379
Total (*) 109 62 45 2 57.79 3139 2871 +268

(*) Results against full national sides only


Current squad[edit]

Namibia squad for their 2014 end-of-years tests against Germany (29 Oct), Canada (7 Nov), French Barbarians (14 Nov) and Portugal (22 Nov).[5]

Stefan Neustadt was added to the squad to replace Nico Esterhuyse, who injured himself in training forcing him out of the 3-test European tour.[6]

On 17 November, Quintin Esterhuyzen and Shaun de Preez were called up a injury replacements for Johnny Redelinghuys and André Schlechter.


Note: Flags indicate national union for the club/province as defined by the International Rugby Board.

Player Position Date of Birth (Age) Caps Club/province
Rathony Becker Hooker (1991-02-14) 14 February 1991 (age 23) 9 Namibia Western Suburbs
Torsten van Jaarsveld Hooker (1987-06-30) 30 June 1987 (age 27) 2 South Africa Free State Cheetahs
Neil Rautenbach Hooker (1991-05-17) 17 May 1991 (age 23) 0 South Africa Western Province
Franklin Bertolini Prop (1990-09-27) 27 September 1990 (age 24) 1 Namibia United
Jaco Engels Prop (1980-12-17) 17 December 1980 (age 33) 8 Namibia United
Quintin Esterhuyzen Prop (1994-09-05) 5 September 1994 (age 20) 0 Namibia Wanderers
Shaun du Preez Prop (1987-07-22) 22 July 1987 (age 27) 4 Namibia Wanderers
Johnny Redelinghuys Prop (1984-02-02) 2 February 1984 (age 30) 42 Namibia Wanderers
André Schlechter Prop (1986-10-13) 13 October 1986 (age 28) 11 Namibia Wanderers
Casper Viviers Prop (1988-06-01) 1 June 1988 (age 26) 6 France Saint-Nazaire
Morné Blom Lock (1989-04-25) 25 April 1989 (age 25) 14 Namibia Wanderers
Nico Esterhuyse Lock (1984-03-05) 5 March 1984 (age 30) 31 Namibia Wanderers
Stefan Neustadt Lock (1991-07-31) 31 July 1991 (age 23) 7 Namibia United
Tjiuee Uanivi Lock (1990-12-31) 31 December 1990 (age 23) 2 France Brive
DG Wiese Lock (1994-02-16) 16 February 1994 (age 20) 2 Namibia United
Jacques Burger (c) Flanker (1983-07-29) 29 July 1983 (age 31) 30 England Saracens
Thomasua Forbes Flanker (1988-10-12) 12 October 1988 (age 26) 4 Namibia Western Suburbs
Rohan Kitshoff Flanker (1985-09-13) 13 September 1985 (age 29) 18 South Africa Western Province
Tinus du Plessis Flanker (1984-05-20) 20 May 1984 (age 30) 39 Namibia Wanderers
PJ van Lill Number 8 (1983-12-04) 4 December 1983 (age 30) 32 France Dax
Eniell Buitendag Scrum-half (1989-06-21) 21 June 1989 (age 25) 9 Namibia Wanderers
Ryan de la Harpe Scrum-half (1982-09-02) 2 September 1982 (age 32) 8 England Fylde
Shaun Kaizemi Fly-half (1988-06-14) 14 June 1988 (age 26) 2 Namibia Western Suburbs
Theuns Kotzé Fly-half (1987-07-16) 16 July 1987 (age 27) 18 France Bourge-en-Bresse
Johan Deysel Centre (1991-09-26) 26 September 1991 (age 23) 6 South Africa Leopards
JC Greyling Centre (1991-06-21) 21 June 1991 (age 23) 1 Ireland Old Wesley
Darryl de la Harpe Centre (1986-10-02) 2 October 1986 (age 28) 23 Namibia Western Suburbs
David Philander Centre (1987-01-04) 4 January 1987 (age 27) 17 New Zealand Spotswood United
Danie Dames Wing (1986-02-07) 7 February 1986 (age 28) 10 South Africa Griquas
Malcolm Moore Wing (1992-10-13) 13 October 1992 (age 22) 2 Namibia Wanderers
Johan Tromp Wing (1990-12-23) 23 December 1990 (age 23) 10 Namibia Wanderers
Chrysander Botha Fullback (1988-07-13) 13 July 1988 (age 26) 29 England Exeter Chiefs
Russel van Wyk Fullback (1990-08-12) 12 August 1990 (age 24) 0 Namibia University of Namibia

Individual all-time records[edit]

Most caps[edit]

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop Won Lost Draw %
1. Eugene Jantjies Scrum-half 2006–12 36 24 12 33 1 2 7 1 15 20 1 43.05
Johnny Redelinghuys Prop 2006– 36 26 10 15 3 0 0 0 15 20 1 43.05
3. Hugo Horn Hooker 1997–2011 35 28 7 10 2 0 0 0 14 20 1 41.42
4. Tinus du Plessis Flanker 2006– 33 29 4 25 5 0 0 0 15 17 1 46.96
Herman Lintvelt Flanker 1998–2007 33 22 11 40 8 0 0 0 16 17 0 48.48
6. Nico Esterhuyse Lock 2006–11 30 28 2 0 0 0 0 0 11 18 1 38.33
7. Jacques Burger Flanker 2004–11 29 29 0 20 4 0 0 0 15 13 1 53.44
8. Jaco Coetzee Fly-half 1990–95 28 27 1 335 6 81 45 3 22 5 1 80.35
Cassie Derks Prop 1990–94 28 28 0 4 1 0 0 0 20 7 1 73.21
10. 3 players on 27 caps

Last updated: Namibia vs Senegal, 15 June 2013. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most tries[edit]

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop
1. Gerhard Mans Wing 1990-1994 27 26 1 118 27 0 0 0
2. Eden Meyer Wing 1991-1996 21 20 1 98 21 0 0 0
3. Melrick Afrika Wing 2003-2007 23 18 5 62 12 1 0 0
Chrysander Botha Fullback 2008- 23 23 0 127 12 14 13 0
5. du Preez Grobler Centre 2001-2008 25 21 4 50 10 0 0 0
Corné Powell Centre 2001-2007 26 24 2 50 10 0 0 0
Riaan van Wyk Wing 2002-2004 10 10 0 50 10 0 0 0
8. Barries Barnard Flanker 1990-1993 22 22 0 36 9 0 0 0
9. 3 players on 8 tries

Last updated: Namibia vs Senegal, 15 June 2013. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most points[edit]

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop
1. Jaco Coetzee Fly-half 1990-1995 28 27 1 335 6 81 45 3
2. Mot Schreuder Fly-half 2002-2007 19 17 2 158 4 42 18 0
3. Theuns Kotzé Fly-half 2011- 11 11 0 143 2 20 26 5
4. Chrysander Botha Fullback 2008- 23 23 0 127 12 14 13 0
5. Gerhard Mans Wing 1990-1994 27 26 1 118 27 0 0 0
6. Rudie van Vuuren Fly-half 1997-2003 14 9 5 109 3 26 14 0
7. Eden Meyer Wing 1991-1996 21 20 1 98 21 0 0 0
8. Emile Wessels Fly-half 2002-2010 18 16 2 94 0 14 21 1
9. Lean van Dyk Fullback 1998-2002 10 10 0 70 3 11 11 0
10. Jaco Kotze Wing 1995-2004 16 14 2 67 7 4 8 0

Last updated: Namibia vs Senegal, 15 June 2013. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most points in a match[edit]

# Player Pos Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop Opposition Venue Date
1. Justinus van der Westhuizen Fly-half 33 3 9 0 0  Zambia Namibia Windhoek 26/05/2007
2. Jaco Coetzee Fly-half 30 3 6 1 0  Kenya Kenya Nairobi 07/07/1993
3. Chrysander Botha Fullback 29 2 5 3 0  Ivory Coast Namibia Windhoek 27/06/2009
4. Moolman Olivier Fly-half 26 1 11 0 0  Portugal Namibia Windhoek 21/04/1990
5. Riaan van Wyk Wing 25 5 0 0 0  Madagascar Namibia Windhoek 15/06/2002
6. Gerhard Mans Wing 24 6 0 0 0  Portugal Namibia Windhoek 21/04/1990
Mot Schreuder Fly-half 24 0 12 0 0  Kenya Namibia Windhoek 27/05/2006
8. Theuns Kotzé Fly-half 22 0 2 6 0  Spain Namibia Windhoek 17/11/2012
9. 3 players on 21 points

Last updated: Namibia vs Senegal, 15 June 2013. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most tries in a match[edit]

# Player Pos Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop Opposition Venue Date
1. Gerhard Mans Wing 24 6 0 0 0  Portugal Namibia Windhoek 21/04/1990
2. Riaan van Wyk Wing 25 5 0 0 0  Madagascar Namibia Windhoek 15/06/2002
3. Eden Meyer Wing 20 4 0 0 0  Zimbabwe Namibia Windhoek 16/05/1992
Melrick Afrika Wing 20 4 0 0 0  Kenya Kenya Nairobi 16/08/2003
5. 11 players on 3 tries

Last updated: Namibia vs Senegal, 15 June 2013. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most matches as captain[edit]

# Player Pos Span Mat Won Lost Draw % Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop
1. Gerhard Mans Wing 1990-1994 26 20 5 1 78.84 118 27 0 0 0
2. Corné Powell Centre 2002-2007 13 9 4 0 69.23 25 5 0 0 0
3. Kees Lensing Prop 2006-2009 12 6 5 1 54.16 0 0 0 0 0
4. Jacques Burger Flanker 2007-2011 10 4 6 0 40.00 10 2 0 0 0
Quinn Hough Flanker 1998-1999 10 6 4 0 60.00 25 5 0 0 0

Last updated: Namibia vs Senegal, 15 June 2013. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Youngest players[edit]

# Player Pos Age Opposition Venue Date
1. Andre de Klerk (Lock) 18 years and 176 days  Ivory Coast Ivory Coast Abidjan 14/06/2009
2. Ryan Witbooi (Wing) 18 years and 342 days  Zambia Zambia Nchingola 14/08/2004
3. Morne Louw (Prop) 18 years and 345 days  Kenya Kenya Nairobi 09/09/2006
4. Duimpie Theron Lock 19 years and 128 days  Ivory Coast Morocco Casablanca 12/09/1998
5. Eugene Jantjies (Scrum-half) 19 years and 231 days  Kenya Namibia Windhoek 27/05/2006
6. Danie Vermeulen (Prop) 19 years and 356 days  Zimbabwe Namibia Windhoek 01/03/1996
7. Hugo Horn (Hooker) 20 years and 15 days  Tonga Namibia Windhoek 24/05/1997
8. Chrysander Botha Fullback 20 years and 20 days  Zimbabwe Namibia Windhoek 02/08/2008
9. Jaco Coetzee (Fullback) 20 years and 71 days  Portugal Namibia Windhoek 21/04/1990
10. Stefan Durand (Wing) 20 years and 81 days  Georgia Romania Bucharest 05/06/2007

Last updated: Namibia vs Senegal, 15 June 2013. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Oldest players[edit]

# Player Pos Age Opposition Venue Date
1. Manie Grobler Prop 38 years and 187 days  Zimbabwe Namibia Windhoek 16/05/1992
2. Khaki Goosen Flanker 36 years and 103 days  Wales Namibia Windhoek 05/06/1993
3. Jané du Toit Prop 35 years and 359 days  Wales New Zealand New Plymouth 26/09/2011
4. Doug Jeffery (Wing) 35 years and 135 days  France Namibia Windhoek 23/06/1990
5. Riaan Jantjies (Scrum-half) 35 years and 29 days  Zimbabwe Namibia Windhoek 22/07/2000
6. Leon Stoop Scrum-half 35 years and 18 days  Ivory Coast Morocco Casablanca 16/06/1994
7. Deon Gouws Wing 34 years and 315 days  Zimbabwe Namibia Windhoek 14/07/2001
8. Willem Maritz Flanker 34 years and 269 days  Zimbabwe Namibia Windhoek 07/09/1991
9. Cor van Tonder Hooker 34 years and 241 days  Spain Namibia Windhoek 17/11/2012
10. Hugo Horn Hooker 34 years and 140 days  Wales New Zealand New Plymouth 26/09/2011

Last updated: Namibia vs Senegal, 15 June 2013. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]