Namibia national rugby union team

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Namibia
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Welwitschias
EmblemAfrican fish eagle
UnionNamibia Rugby Union
Head coachPhil Davies
CaptainRenaldo Bothma
Most capsEugene Jantjies (61)
Top scorerTheuns Kotzé (344)
Top try scorerGerhard Mans (27)
Home stadiumHage Geingob Rugby Stadium
First colours
Second colours
World Rugby ranking
Current24 (as of 21 May 2018)
Highest18 (2017)
Lowest29 (2006)
First international
South West Africa 0–9 British Lions
(Windhoek, Namibia; 5 July 1955)
Biggest win
Namibia 118–0 Tunisia
(Windhoek, Namibia; 23 June 2018)
Biggest defeat
Australia 142–0 Namibia
(Adelaide, Australia; 25 October 2003)
World Cup
Appearances5 (First in 1999)
Best resultPool stage, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015
Websitewww.nru.com.na

The Namibia national rugby union team, nicknamed the Welwitschias or Biltongboere, are a tier-two nation in the World Rugby tier system, and have participated in five 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 28 May 2018 they are ranked 24th in the world.[1]

History[edit]

1990s[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 1988 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 the 1991 Rugby World Cup. 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.

2000–present[edit]

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.

The Welwitschias played the 2015 Vodacom Cup, collecting six defeats and one win against the Limpopo Blue Bulls. Namibia qualified for their fourth Rugby World Cup in 2015. They were placed in Pool C with New Zealand, Georgia, Tonga and Argentina.

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 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 Pool Stage 4 0 0 4 70 174 7 5 0 2 289 159
Japan 2019 Qualified 5 5 0 0 347 278
Total 5/8 19 0 0 19 214 1148 37 28 2 7 1138 981

Record[edit]

Top 30 rankings as of 3 December 2018[3]
Rank Change* Team Points
1 Steady  New Zealand 092.54
2 Steady  Ireland 091.17
3 Steady  Wales 087.24
4 Steady  England 086.22
5 Steady  South Africa 084.58
6 Steady  Australia 082.40
7 Steady  Scotland 081.84
8 Steady  Fiji 077.95
9 Steady  France 077.33
10 Steady  Argentina 077.05
11 Steady  Japan 075.24
12 Steady  United States 073.66
13 Steady  Georgia 073.42
14 Steady  Tonga 073.02
15 Steady  Italy 072.75
16 Steady  Samoa 068.78
17 Steady  Uruguay 066.82
18 Steady  Romania 065.45
19 Steady  Russia 065.20
20 Steady  Canada 062.95
21 Steady  Spain 062.24
22 Steady  Namibia 060.34
23 Steady  Netherlands 058.45
24 Steady  Hong Kong 058.11
25 Steady  Belgium 058.09
26 Steady  Germany 057.83
27 Steady  Portugal 057.08
28 Steady  Brazil 056.81
29 Steady  Chile 054.36
30 Steady  South Korea 053.59
*Change from the previous week
Namibia's historical rankings
Namibia IRB World Rankings.png
Source: World Rugby - Graph updated to 26 November 2018[3]

Below is table of the representative rugby matches played by a Namibia national XV at test level up until 16 November 2018.[4]

Opponent Played Won Lost Drawn Win % For Aga Diff
 Arabian Gulf 1 1 0 0 100.00% 64 20 +44
 Argentina 3 0 3 0 0.00% 36 194 -158
Argentina Argentina Jaguars 1 0 1 0 0.00% 13 47 -34
 Australia 1 0 1 0 0.00% 0 142 -142
 Canada 2 0 2 0 0.00% 24 89 -65
 Fiji 2 0 2 0 0.00% 43 116 -73
 France 2 0 2 0 0.00% 23 134 -111
 France XV 2 0 2 0 0.00% 36 49 -13
 Georgia 5 1 4 0 20.00% 73 112 -39
 Germany 2 2 0 0 100.00% 137 33 +104
 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 66.67% 74 75 -1
 Ivory Coast 4 2 1 1 50.00% 101 50 +51
 Kenya 11 9 2 0 81.82% 544 201 +343
 Madagascar 4 3 1 0 75.00% 310 84 +226
 Morocco 8 5 2 1 62.50% 196 144 +52
 New Zealand 1 0 1 0 0.00% 14 58 -44
 Portugal 7 5 2 0 71.43% 229 125 +104
 Romania 6 1 5 0 16.67% 66 158 -92
 Russia 6 2 4 0 33.33% 168 136 +32
 Samoa 2 0 2 0 0.00% 25 89 -64
 Scotland A 1 1 0 0 0.00% 23 20 +3
 Senegal 4 4 0 0 100.00% 163 40 +123
 South Africa 2 0 2 0 0.00% 13 192 -179
 Spain 6 2 4 0 33.33% 143 144 -1
 Tonga 2 0 2 0 0.00% 35 55 -20
 Tunisia 11 8 3 0 72.73% 368 159 +209
 Uganda 5 4 1 0 80.00% 244 94 +150
 Uruguay 3 0 3 0 0.00% 82 114 -32
 Wales 4 0 4 0 0.00% 69 171 -102
 West Germany 1 1 0 0 100.00% 54 7 +47
 Zambia 2 2 0 0 100.00% 132 20 +112
 Zimbabwe 32 29 3 0 90.63% 1198 665 +533
Total 151 87 62 2 57.62% 4787 3866 +921

Current squad[edit]

Namibia's 28-man squad for the 2018 European tour:[5]

Player Position Date of Birth (Age) Caps Club/province
Obert Nortjé Hooker (1997-04-17) 17 April 1997 (age 21) 12 Namibia Welwitschias
Niël van Vuuren Hooker (1991-05-31) 31 May 1991 (age 27) 5 Namibia Welwitschias
AJ de Klerk Prop (1987-12-09) 9 December 1987 (age 31) 25 Namibia Welwitschias
André Rademeyer Prop (1998-06-24) 24 June 1998 (age 20) 2 South Africa Western Province
Des Sethie Prop (1992-12-09) 9 December 1992 (age 26) 9 Namibia Welwitschias
Jason Benade Prop (1995-04-16) 16 April 1995 (age 23) 1 Namibia Welwitschias
Casper Viviers Prop (1988-06-01) 1 June 1988 (age 30) 36 Namibia Welwitschias
Ruan Ludick Lock (1994-09-07) 7 September 1994 (age 24) 17 Namibia Welwitschias
Adriaan Ludick Lock (1998-07-22) 22 July 1998 (age 20) 2 Namibia Welwitschias
Tjiuee Uanivi Lock (1990-12-31) 31 December 1990 (age 27) 27 England London Scottish
Renaldo Bothma Loose forward (1989-09-18) 18 September 1989 (age 29) 17 England Harlequins
Thomasau Forbes Loose forward (1988-10-12) 12 October 1988 (age 30) 15 Namibia Welwitschias
Prince ǃGaoseb Loose forward (1998-07-07) 7 July 1998 (age 20) 1 South Africa Blue Bulls
Rohan Kitshoff Loose forward (1985-09-13) 13 September 1985 (age 33) 43 Namibia Welwitschias
Max Katjijeko Loose forward (1995-04-08) 8 April 1995 (age 23) 10 Namibia Welwitschias
Damian Stevens Scrum-half (1995-06-02) 2 June 1995 (age 23) 22 South Africa Boland Cavaliers
Wihan von Wielligh Scrum-half (1997-07-26) 26 July 1997 (age 21) 1 South Africa NWU Pukke
Cliven Loubser Fly-half (1997-02-24) 24 February 1997 (age 21) 12 South Africa UP Tuks
PW Steenkamp Fly-half (1997-12-11) 11 December 1997 (age 21) 6 Namibia Welwitschias
Darryl de la Harpe Centre (1986-10-02) 2 October 1986 (age 32) 46 Namibia Welwitschias
JC Greyling Centre (1991-06-21) 21 June 1991 (age 27) 29 Namibia Welwitschias
Henrique Olivier Centre (1997-07-03) 3 July 1997 (age 21) 1 South Africa Eastern Province Elephants
Janry du Toit Wing (1996-08-26) 26 August 1996 (age 22) 2 Namibia Welwitschias
Justin Newman Wing (1995-02-17) 17 February 1995 (age 23) 12 South Africa Leopards
Chad Plato Wing (1998-04-21) 21 April 1998 (age 20) 1 Namibia Kudus
Johann Tromp Wing (1990-12-23) 23 December 1990 (age 27) 39 Namibia Welwitschias
Chrysander Botha Fullback (1988-07-13) 13 July 1988 (age 30) 55 Namibia Welwitschias
TC Kisting Fullback (1994-01-13) 13 January 1994 (age 24) 6 Namibia Welwitschias

Individual all-time records[edit]

Most caps[edit]

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop Won Lost Draw Win %
1. Eugene Jantjies Scrum-half 2006–present 66 47 19 77 4 15 8 1 35 30 1 53.78
2. Chrysander Botha Fullback 2008–present 56 54 2 215 28 15 15 0 35 20 1 63.39
3. Tinus du Plessis Flanker 2006–2016 53 44 9 45 9 0 0 0 28 24 1 53.77
4. Johnny Redelinghuys Prop 2006–2015 50 32 18 25 5 0 0 0 23 26 1 47.00
PJ van Lill Flanker 2006–present 50 33 17 35 7 0 0 0 26 23 1 53.00
6. Darryl de la Harpe Centre 2010–present 47 38 9 45 9 0 0 0 25 22 0 53.19
7. Rohan Kitshoff Flanker 2010–present 44 30 14 110 22 0 0 0 24 20 0 54.54
8. Theuns Kotzé Fly-half 2011–present 40 35 5 430 6 110 55 5 21 19 0 52.50
9. Johann Tromp Centre 2012-present 40 31 9 95 19 0 0 0 24 16 0 60.00
10. Jacques Burger Flanker 2004–2015 38 37 1 35 7 0 0 0 19 18 1 51.31

Last updated: 24 November 2018 [6]

Most tries[edit]

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop
1. Chrysander Botha Fullback 2008–present 56 54 2 215 28 15 15 0
2. Gerhard Mans Wing 1990–1994 27 26 1 114 26 0 0 0
3. Rohan Kitshoff Flanker 2010–present 44 30 14 110 22 0 0 0
Eden Meyer Wing 1991–1996 21 20 1 102 22 0 0 0
5. JC Greyling Centre 2014–present 30 23 7 95 19 0 0 0
Johann Tromp Centre 2012–present 40 31 9 95 19 0 0 0
7. Melrick Afrika Wing 2003–2007 24 19 5 62 12 1 0 0
8. Du Preez Grobler Centre 2001–2008 26 22 4 50 10 0 0 0
David Philander Centre 2008–present 30 23 7 50 10 0 0 0
Corné Powell Centre 2001–2007 27 25 2 50 10 0 0 0
Riaan van Wyk Wing 2002–2004 10 10 0 50 10 0 0 0

Last updated: 24 November 2018 [7]

Most points[edit]

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop
1. Theuns Kotzé Fly-half 2011–present 40 35 5 430 6 110 55 5
2. Jaco Coetzee Fly-half 1990-1995 28 27 1 335 6 81 45 3
3. Chrysander Botha Fullback 2008–present 56 54 2 215 28 15 15 0
4. Mot Schreuder Fly-half 2002-2007 19 17 2 158 4 42 18 0
5. Cliven Loubser Fly-half 2017-present 13 11 2 144 4 47 10 0
6. Rudie van Vuuren Fly-half 1997-2003 15 10 5 120 3 27 17 0
7. Gerhard Mans Wing 1990-1994 27 26 1 114 26 0 0 0
8. Rohan Kitshoff Flanker 2010-present 44 30 14 110 22 0 0 0
9. Eden Meyer Wing 1991-1996 21 20 1 102 22 0 0 0
10. JC Greyling Centre 2014–present 30 23 7 95 19 0 0 0
Johann Tromp Centre 2012–present 40 31 9 95 19 0 0 0

Last updated: Portugal vs Namibia, 24 November 2018. 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
Cliven Loubser Fly-half 26 2 8 0 0  Morocco Morocco Casablanca 30/06/2018
6. Riaan van Wyk Wing 25 5 0 0 0  Madagascar Namibia Windhoek 15/06/2002
Theuns Kotzé Fly-half 25 1 4 4 0  Russia Namibia Windhoek 18/07/2015
8. 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
Theuns Kotzé Fly-half 24 0 12 0 0  Madagascar Namibia Windhoek 06/07/2014

Last updated: Portugal vs Namibia, 24 November 2018. 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
Renaldo Bothma Number 8 20 4 0 0 0  Madagascar Kenya Nairobi 06/07/2014
Rohan Kitshoff Flanker 20 4 0 0 0  Senegal Namibia Windhoek 08/07/2017
JC Greyling Centre 20 4 0 0 0  Tunisia Namibia Windhoek 23/06/2018
Lesley Klim Wing 20 4 0 0 0  Tunisia Namibia Windhoek 23/06/2018
9. 15 players on 3 tries

Last updated: Portugal vs Namibia, 24 November 2018. 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 78.84 114 26 0 0 0
2. Jacques Burger Flanker 2007-2015 18 8 10 0 44.44 25 5 0 0 0
3. Kees Lensing Prop 2006-2009 13 6 6 1 50.00 0 0 0 0 0
Corné Powell Centre 2002-2007 13 9 4 0 69.23 25 5 0 0 0
5. Rohan Kitshoff Flanker 2014-present 12 8 4 0 66.66 75 15 0 0 0
6. Quinn Hough Flanker 1997-1999 11 6 5 0 54.54 25 5 0 0 0
PJ van Lill Flanker 2012–2015 11 7 4 0 63.63 10 2 0 0 0

Last updated: Portugal vs Namibia, 24 November 2018. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Rugby World Rankings
  2. ^ Chris Hewett (29 April 1999). "Rugby Union: England bucks the global growth trend". The Independent.
  3. ^ a b "Men's World Rankings". World Rugby. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  4. ^ Namibia rugby statistics
  5. ^ "National squad selected for European tour". The Namibian. 10 October 2018. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Rugby Union - ESPN Scrum - Statsguru - Test matches - Player records". ESPN Scrum. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Rugby Union - ESPN Scrum - Statsguru - Test matches - Player records". ESPN Scrum. Retrieved 17 November 2017.

External links[edit]