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) Phil Davies
Captain(s) Jacques Burger
Most caps Johnny Redelinghuys (50)
Top scorer Theuns Kotzé (344)
Most tries Gerhard Mans (27)
Team kit
Change kit
First international
South AfricaSouth West Africa 0 – 9 British 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 5 (First in 1999)
Best result Namibia 16 - 17 Georgia, 2015

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 20 June 2016 they are ranked 21st 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
Total 5/8 19 0 0 19 214 1148 32 23 2 7 1138 568

Record[edit]

Top 30 rankings as of 9 October 2017[3]
Rank Change* Team Points
1 Steady  New Zealand 95.52
2 Steady  England 90.14
3 Increase  Australia 85.59
4 Decrease  Ireland 85.39
5 Decrease  South Africa 85.03
6 Steady  Scotland 82.47
7 Steady  Wales 81.73
8 Steady  France 79.63
9 Steady  Fiji 79.48
10 Steady  Argentina 76.93
11 Steady  Japan 73.79
12 Steady  Georgia 73.41
13 Steady  Tonga 71.72
14 Steady  Italy 71.00
15 Steady  Romania 70.27
16 Steady  Samoa 69.67
17 Steady  United States 65.84
18 Steady  Uruguay 63.15
19 Steady  Spain 63.15
20 Steady  Russia 63.13
21 Steady  Namibia 61.40
22 Steady  Hong Kong 60.00
23 Steady  Germany 59.78
24 Steady  Canada 59.47
25 Steady  Portugal 57.26
26 Steady  Belgium 56.94
27 Steady  Kenya 56.21
28 Steady  Chile 54.76
29 Steady  Brazil 54.50
30 Steady   Switzerland 53.63
*Change from the previous week
Namibia's historical rankings
Namibia IRB World Rankings.png
Source: World Rugby - Graph updated to 20 February 2017[3]

Below is table of the representative rugby matches played by a Namibia national XV at test level up until 1 August 2017.[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 10 8 2 0 80.00% 491 173 +318
 Madagascar 4 3 1 0 75.00% 310 84 +226
 Morocco 7 4 2 1 57.14% 133 137 -4
 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 5 2 3 0 40.00% 121 116 +5
 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 10 7 3 0 70.00% 250 159 +91
 Uganda 4 3 1 0 75.00% 184 88 +96
 Uruguay 1 0 1 0 0.00% 12 23 -11
 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 31 28 3 0 90.32% 1140 637 +503
Total 143 82 59 2 57.34% 4318 3686 +632

Current squad[edit]

Namibia's 28-man squad for the 2017 World Rugby Nations Cup are as follows:[5]

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

Player Position Date of Birth (Age) Caps Club/province
du Preez, ShaunShaun du Preez Hooker (1987-07-22) 22 July 1987 (age 30) 5 Namibia Welwitschias
van der Westhuizen, LouisLouis van der Westhuizen Hooker (1995-02-25) 25 February 1995 (age 22) 9 South Africa Leopards
van Jaarsveld, TorstenTorsten van Jaarsveld Hooker (1987-06-30) 30 June 1987 (age 30) 12 South Africa Cheetahs
Coetzee, AranosAranos Coetzee Prop (1988-03-14) 14 March 1988 (age 29) 11 South Africa Cheetahs
de Klerk, AJAJ de Klerk Prop (1987-12-19) 19 December 1987 (age 29) 12 Namibia Welwitschias
Smith, CollenCollen Smith Prop (1991-09-02) 2 September 1991 (age 26) 6 Namibia Welwitschias
Viviers, CasperCasper Viviers Prop (1988-06-01) 1 June 1988 (age 29) 20 France Bobigny
Ludick, RuanRuan Ludick Lock (1994-09-07) 7 September 1994 (age 23) 4 Wales Merthyr
Tjeriko, MahepisaMahepisa Tjeriko Lock (1993-05-06) 6 May 1993 (age 24) 0 Namibia Welwitschias
Uanivi, TjiueeTjiuee Uanivi Lock (1990-12-31) 31 December 1990 (age 26) 18 England London Scottish
Venter, JancoJanco Venter Lock (1994-09-19) 19 September 1994 (age 23) 15 South Africa Maties
Bothma, RenaldoRenaldo Bothma (c) Flanker (1989-09-18) 18 September 1989 (age 28) 13 South Africa Bulls
Conradie, WianWian Conradie Flanker (1994-10-14) 14 October 1994 (age 23) 4 South Africa UJ
van Lill, Pieter-JanPieter-Jan van Lill Flanker (1983-12-04) 4 December 1983 (age 33) 43 France Bayonne
Retief, JohanJohan Retief Flanker (1995-10-10) 10 October 1995 (age 22) 0 South Africa NWU Pukke
van der Merwe, ChristoChristo van der Merwe Flanker (1995-01-05) 5 January 1995 (age 22) 2 South Africa Hamiltons
Jantjies, EugeneEugene Jantjies Scrum-half (1986-10-08) 8 October 1986 (age 31) 53 Namibia Welwitschias
Stevens, DamianDamian Stevens Scrum-half (1995-06-02) 2 June 1995 (age 22) 6 South Africa Sharks XV
Kotzé, TheunsTheuns Kotzé Fly-half (1987-07-16) 16 July 1987 (age 30) 34 South Africa Boland Cavaliers
Loubser, ClivenCliven Loubser Fly-half (1997-02-24) 24 February 1997 (age 20) 0 South Africa Sharks U19
de la Harpe, DarrylDarryl de la Harpe Centre (1986-10-02) 2 October 1986 (age 31) 33 Namibia Welwitschias
Deysel, JohanJohan Deysel Centre (1991-09-26) 26 September 1991 (age 26) 16 South Africa Sharks
Greyling, JCJC Greyling Centre (1991-06-21) 21 June 1991 (age 26) 15 Namibia Welwitschias
Newman, JustinJustin Newman Centre (1995-02-17) 17 February 1995 (age 22) 0 South Africa NWU Pukke
Klim, LesleyLesley Klim Wing (1995-01-16) 16 January 1995 (age 22) 0 Namibia Welwitschias
Wilson, GinoGino Wilson Wing (1996-03-21) 21 March 1996 (age 21) 5 Namibia Welwitschias
Botha, ChrysanderChrysander Botha Fullback (1988-07-13) 13 July 1988 (age 29) 41 South Africa Kings
Tromp, JohannJohann Tromp Fullback (1990-12-23) 23 December 1990 (age 26) 26 South Africa Kings

Individual all-time records[edit]

Most caps[edit]

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop Won Lost Draw %
1. Johnny Redelinghuys Prop 2006–present 50 32 18 25 5 0 0 0 23 26 1 47.00
2. Tinus du Plessis Flanker 2006–present 48 40 8 35 7 0 0 0 24 23 1 51.04
Eugene Jantjies Scrum-half 2006–present 48 33 15 50 4 3 7 1 21 26 1 44.79
4. Pieter-Jan van Lill Flanker 2006–present 43 28 15 20 4 0 0 0 21 21 1 50.00
5. Jacques Burger Flanker 2004–present 38 37 1 35 7 0 0 0 19 18 1 51.31
Chrysander Botha Fly-half 2008–present 38 36 2 155 16 15 15 0 21 16 1 56.57
7. Hugo Horn Hooker 1997–2011 35 28 7 10 2 0 0 0 14 20 1 41.42
8. Herman Lintvelt Flanker 1998–2007 34 23 11 40 8 0 0 0 16 18 0 47.05
Nico Esterhuyse Lock 2006–2011 34 32 2 0 0 0 0 0 14 19 1 42.64
10. Darryl de la Harpe Centre 2010–present 29 23 6 15 3 0 0 0 14 15 0 48.27

Last updated: Namibia vs Argentina, 11 October 2015. 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. Chrysander Botha Fullback 2008–present 38 36 2 155 16 15 15 0
4. Melrick Afrika Wing 2003-2007 23 18 5 62 12 1 0 0
5. Rohan Kitshoff Wing 2010–present 26 15 11 55 11 0 0 0
6. 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
Johann Tromp Centre 2012–present 22 15 7 50 10 0 0 0
9. Barries Barnard Flanker 1990-1993 22 22 0 36 9 0 0 0

Last updated: Namibia vs Argentina, 11 October 2015. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most points[edit]

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop
1. Theuns Kotzé Fly-half 2011–present 29 28 1 344 4 78 51 5
2. Jaco Coetzee Fly-half 1990-1995 28 27 1 335 6 81 45 3
3. Mot Schreuder Fly-half 2002-2007 19 17 2 158 4 42 18 0
4. Chrysander Botha Fullback 2008–present 38 36 2 155 16 15 15 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 Argentina, 11 October 2015. 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
Theuns Kotzé Fly-half 25 1 4 4 0  Russia Namibia Windhoek 18/07/2015
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
Theuns Kotzé Fly-half 24 0 12 0 0  Madagascar Namibia Windhoek 06/07/2014
10. Theuns Kotzé Fly-half 22 0 2 6 0  Spain Namibia Windhoek 17/11/2012

Last updated: Namibia vs Argentina, 11 October 2015. 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
6. 13 players on 3 tries

Last updated: Namibia vs Argentina, 11 October 2015. 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. Jacques Burger Flanker 2007 18 8 10 0 44.44 25 5 0 0 0
3. Corné Powell Centre 2002-2007 13 9 4 0 69.23 25 5 0 0 0
Kees Lensing Prop 2006-2009 13 6 6 1 50.00 0 0 0 0 0
5. Pieter-Jan van Lill Flanker 2012–present 11 7 4 0 63.63 10 2 0 0 0
6. Quinn Hough Flanker 1998-1999 10 6 4 0 60.00 25 5 0 0 0
7. Jacques Nieuwenhuis Flanker 2008-2011 6 3 3 0 50.00 10 2 0 0 0

Last updated: Namibia vs Argentina, 11 October 2015. 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 "World Rankings". World Rugby. Retrieved 12 October 2017. 
  4. ^ Namibia rugby statistics
  5. ^ "Powerful rugby squad named for Nations Cup". The Namibian. 16 May 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 

External links[edit]