Namibia national rugby union team

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Namibia
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Welwitschias
EmblemAfrican fish eagle
UnionNamibia Rugby Union
Head coachAllister Coetzee
CaptainJohan Deysel
Most capsEugene Jantjies (70)
Top scorerTheuns Kotzé (430)
Top try scorerChrysander Botha (28)
Home stadiumHage Geingob Rugby Stadium
First colours
Second colours
World Rugby ranking
Current24 (as of 8 November 2021)
Highest18 (2017)
Lowest29 (2006)
First international
South West Africa 0–9 British and Irish 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
Appearances6 (First in 1999)
Best resultPool stage (1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2019)
Websitewww.nru.com.na

The Namibia national rugby union team represents Namibia in men's international rugby union competitions nicknamed the Welwitschias, 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. As of 21 September 2020, they are ranked 24th in the world.[1]

History

1990s

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

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. They managed to lose to Georgia by a single point (17-16), their best result ever and winning their first bonus point at the competition.

They qualified for the 2019 Rugby World Cup for the sixth time by winning the Rugby Africa Gold Cup and joined pool B along with South Africa, New Zealand, Italy and Canada.[3] The team lost to New Zealand, South Africa and Italy, whereas the match versus Canada was cancelled because of typhoon Hagibis.

Wins against Tier 1 nations

15 June 1991 Namibia  17-7  Italy Namibia Windhoek  
22 June 1991 Namibia  33-19  Italy Namibia Windhoek  
20 July 1991 Namibia  15-6  Ireland Namibia Windhoek  
27 July 1991 Namibia  26-15  Ireland Namibia Windhoek  
16 June 2010 Namibia  23-20  Scotland XV Romania Bucharest  
[1]

South West Africa Record vs Touring Teams

Before independence Namibia played as South West Africa and played touring teams who toured South Africa. [4]

Opponent Played Won Lost Drawn Win % For Aga Diff
 Australia 3 0 2 1 0.00% 28 71 –43
 British and Irish Lions 4 0 4 0 0.00% 22 69 —47
 Chile 2 1 1 0 50.00% 66 48 +18
 France 2 0 1 1 0.00% 19 48 —29
 New Zealand 2 0 2 0 0.00% 3 43 –40
 Paraguay 1 1 0 0 100.00% 110 0 +110
 Uruguay 1 1 0 0 100.00% 38 22 +16
 Southern Rhodesia 6 1 5 0 16.67% 58 136 –78
Total 21 4 15 2 19.05% 344 437 –93
Date Score Touring Team Venue
5 July 1955 0–9  British and Irish Lions Mabel Vlok Park, Windhoek
11 July 1959 3–19  Southern Rhodesia Otjiwarongo
8 July 1960 3–27  New Zealand South West Stadium, Windhoek
27 July 1961 14–14  Australia South West Stadium, Windhoek
12 June 1962 6–14  British and Irish Lions South West Stadium, Windhoek
31 July 1963 6–24  Australia South West Stadium, Windhoek
13 June 1964 15–6  Southern Rhodesia South West Stadium, Windhoek
13 March 1966 3–19  Southern Rhodesia Hartsfield Stadium, Bulawayo
15 June 1968 0–23  British and Irish Lions South West Stadium, Windhoek
21 September 1968 8–34  Southern Rhodesia South West Stadium, Windhoek
1 September 1969 8–33  Australia South West Stadium, Windhoek
4 July 1970 0–16  New Zealand South West Stadium, Windhoek
8 June 1971 6–35  France South West Stadium, Windhoek
18 May 1974 16–23  British and Irish Lions South West Stadium, Windhoek
17 June 1975 13–13  France South West Stadium, Windhoek
7 May 1977 15–22  Southern Rhodesia South West Stadium, Windhoek
29 October 1983 30–33  Chile Santiago
5 November 1983 38–22  Uruguay Montevideo
24 October 1988 36–15  Chile Santiago
3 November 1988 110–0  Paraguay Ascuncion

Record

Top 30 as of 21 March 2022[5]
Rank Change* Team Points
1 Steady  South Africa 090.61
2 Increase1  France 088.88
3 Decrease1  New Zealand 088.75
4 Steady  Ireland 088.22
5 Steady  England 084.50
6 Steady  Australia 083.92
7 Steady  Scotland 081.80
8 Increase1  Argentina 080.58
9 Decrease1  Wales 079.28
10 Steady  Japan 078.26
11 Steady  Fiji 076.62
12 Increase1  Georgia 073.78
13 Decrease1  Samoa 073.59
14 Steady  Italy 072.33
15 Steady  Spain 068.26
16 Steady  Tonga 067.72
17 Increase1  Romania 066.95
18 Decrease1  United States 066.54
19 Steady  Uruguay 066.40
20 Steady  Portugal 065.72
21 Steady  Canada 061.80
22 Steady  Hong Kong 061.23
23 Steady  Chile 059.88
24 Steady  Namibia 059.72
25 Steady  Russia 058.06
26 Steady  Netherlands 056.31
27 Steady  Belgium 055.74
28 Increase1  Brazil 053.31
29 Increase1  South Korea 053.11
30 Decrease2  Poland 052.91
* Change from the previous week
Namibia's historical rankings
See or edit source data.
Source: World Rugby[5]
Graph updated to 21 March 2022

Below is table of the representative rugby matches played by a Namibia national XV at test level up until 8 December 2021.[6]

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
 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 4 2 2 0 50.00% 96 122 —26
 Ivory Coast 6 2 3 1 33.33% 127 98 +29
 Kenya 12 10 2 0 83.33% 604 225 +379
 Madagascar 5 4 1 0 80.00% 362 94 +268
 Morocco 8 5 2 1 62.50% 196 144 +52
 New Zealand 2 0 2 0 0.00% 23 129 –106
 Portugal 8 6 2 0 75.00% 258 148 +110
 Romania 6 1 5 0 16.67% 66 158 –92
 Russia 7 2 5 0 28.57% 141 183 –42
 Samoa 2 0 2 0 0.00% 25 89 —64
 Senegal 4 4 0 0 100.00% 163 40 +123
 South Africa 3 0 3 0 0.00% 16 249 —233
 Spain 6 1 5 0 28.57% 120 172 —52
 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 4 1 3 0 25.00% 112 142 -30
 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 33 30 3 0 90.91% 1239 675 +564
Total 161 90 68 2 55.9% 5045 4247 +798

Players

Current squad

On the 5th of October 2021, the following 28 players were called up for the World Rugby test matches against Kenya and Brazil or Zimbabwe.[7]

Head Coach: South Africa Allister Coetzee

  • Caps Updated: 15 November 2021
Player Position Date of birth (age) Caps Club/province
Frikkie Engelbrecht Hooker 0 Namibia Grootfontein
Obert Nortjé Hooker (1997-04-17) 17 April 1997 (age 25) 21 United States Seattle Seawolves
Louis van der Westhuizen Hooker (1995-02-25) 25 February 1995 (age 27) 23 South Africa Cheetahs
Jason Benade Prop (1995-04-16) 16 April 1995 (age 27) 6 Namibia Trustco United
Chemigan Beukes Prop 1 Namibia Western Suburbs
Aranos Coetzee Prop (1988-03-14) 14 March 1988 (age 34) 25 South Africa Cheetahs
Gerhard Opperman Prop (1999-09-03) 3 September 1999 (age 22) 2 Namibia Trustco United
Herschell van Wyk Prop 2 Namibia Wanderers
Max Katjijeko Lock (1995-04-08) 8 April 1995 (age 27) 19 Spain Ordizia
Johan Luttig Lock (1996-05-28) 28 May 1996 (age 25) 1 Namibia Grootfontein
Johan Retief Lock (1995-10-10) 10 October 1995 (age 26) 14 South Africa Leopards
P. J. van Lill Lock (1983-12-04) 4 December 1983 (age 38) 55 France Valence Romans
Adriaan Booysen Back row (1996-05-17) 17 May 1996 (age 26) 11 United States Houston SaberCats
Renaldo Bothma Back row (1989-09-18) 18 September 1989 (age 32) 19 Israel Tel Aviv Heat
Wian Conradie Back row (1994-10-14) 14 October 1994 (age 27) 21 England Gloucester
Janco Venter Back row (1994-09-19) 19 September 1994 (age 27) 30 England Saracens
TC Kisting Scrum-half (1994-01-13) 13 January 1994 (age 28) 15 Romania Baia Mare
Damian Stevens Scrum-half (1995-06-02) 2 June 1995 (age 26) 29 Russia Strela Kazan
Jacques Theron Scrum-half (1999-03-22) 22 March 1999 (age 23) 0 Namibia Wanderers
Cliven Loubser Fly-half (1997-02-24) 24 February 1997 (age 25) 19 United States Utah Warriors
Henrique Olivier Fly-half (1996-07-30) 30 July 1996 (age 25) 3 Namibia Rehoboth
Danco Burger Centre (1998-07-28) 28 July 1998 (age 23) 2 Poland Orkan Sochaczew
Johan Deysel (c) Centre (1991-09-26) 26 September 1991 (age 30) 28 France Colomiers
J. C. Greyling Centre (1991-06-21) 21 June 1991 (age 30) 37 Namibia Wanderers
Jayden Bussel Wing 1 Namibia Rehoboth
Oderich Mouton Wing (1998-01-24) 24 January 1998 (age 24) 5 Namibia University of Namibia
Lorenzo Louis Fullback 2 Namibia University of Namibia
Johann Tromp Fullback (1990-12-23) 23 December 1990 (age 31) 46 Russia Strela Kazan

Individual all-time records

Most caps

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop Won Lost Draw Win %
1. Eugene Jantjies Scrum-half 2006–2019 70 46 24 72 3 15 8 1 35 34 1 50.71
2. Chrysander Botha Fullback 2008–2018 55 53 2 209 28 15 13 0 34 20 1 62.72
PJ van Lill Flanker 2006–present 55 38 17 40 8 0 0 0 28 26 1 50.00
4. Tinus du Plessis Flanker 2006–2016 52 44 8 40 8 0 0 0 27 24 1 52.88
5. Darryl de la Harpe Centre 2010–2019 50 39 11 50 10 0 0 0 25 25 0 50.00
6. Johnny Redelinghuys Prop 2006–2015 49 31 18 25 5 0 0 0 22 26 1 45.91
7. Johann Tromp Centre 2012-present 46 37 9 105 21 0 0 0 26 20 0 55.55
8. Rohan Kitshoff Flanker 2010–2019 45 31 14 110 22 0 0 0 24 21 0 53.33
9. Theuns Kotzé Fly-half 2011–2017 40 35 5 430 6 110 55 5 21 19 0 52.50
10. JC Greyling Centre 2014–present 37 30 7 120 24 0 0 0 21 16 0 56.75
Casper Viviers Prop 2010–2018 37 28 9 5 1 0 0 0 21 16 0 56.75

Last updated: 20 November 2021 [8]

Most tries

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop
1. Chrysander Botha Fullback 2008–2018 55 53 2 209 28 15 13 0
2. Gerhard Mans Wing 1990–1994 27 26 1 114 26 0 0 0
3. JC Greyling Centre 2014–present 37 30 7 120 24 0 0 0
4. Rohan Kitshoff Flanker 2010–2019 45 31 14 110 22 0 0 0
Eden Meyer Wing 1991–1996 21 20 1 102 22 0 0 0
6. Johann Tromp Centre 2012–present 46 37 9 105 21 0 0 0
7. Melrick Afrika Wing 2003–2007 23 18 5 62 12 1 0 0
8. David Philander Centre 2008–2017 30 23 7 55 11 0 0 0
9. Darryl de la Harpe Centre 2010-2019 50 39 11 50 10 0 0 0
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

Last updated: 20 November 2021 [9]

Most points

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop
1. Theuns Kotzé Fly-half 2011–2017 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 2008–2018 55 53 2 209 28 15 13 0
4. Cliven Loubser Fly-half 2017-present 18 16 2 173 4 54 15 0
5. Mot Schreuder Fly-half 2002-2007 19 17 2 158 4 42 18 0
6. JC Greyling Centre 2014–present 37 30 7 120 24 0 0 0
Rudie van Vuuren Fly-half 1997-2003 15 10 5 120 3 27 17 0
8. Gerhard Mans Wing 1990-1994 27 26 1 114 26 0 0 0
9. Rohan Kitshoff Flanker 2010-2019 45 31 14 110 22 0 0 0
10. Eden Meyer Wing 1991-1996 21 20 1 102 22 0 0 0

Last updated: 20 November 2021. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most points in a match

# 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: Zimbabwe vs Namibia, 20 November 2021. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most tries in a match

# 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. 16 players on 3 tries

Last updated: Zimbabwe vs Namibia, 20 November 2021. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most matches as captain

# 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 17 7 10 0 41.17 25 5 0 0 0
3. Corné Powell Centre 2002–2007 13 9 4 0 69.23 25 5 0 0 0
PJ van Lill Flanker 2012–present 13 8 5 0 61.53 10 2 0 0 0
5. Rohan Kitshoff Flanker 2014–2017 12 8 4 0 66.66 75 15 0 0 0
Kees Lensing Prop 2006–2009 12 6 5 1 54.16 0 0 0 0 0
7. Quinn Hough Flanker 1997–1999 11 6 5 0 54.54 25 5 0 0 0

Last updated: Zimbabwe vs Namibia, 20 November 2021. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Past Coaches

Since the 1999 Rugby World Cup

Years Coach
1999 South Africa Rudy Joubert
2000 Namibia Sarel Losper
2000–2001 Namibia Henry Pretorius
2002–2003 New Zealand David Waterston
2004–2005 Namibia Danie Vermeulen
2005 Namibia Christo Alexander
2006–2007 Namibia Johan Venter
2007 Namibia Hakkies Husselman
2008–2009 South Africa John Williams
2009–2011 Namibia Johan Diergaardt
2012–2015 Namibia Danie Vermeulen
2015–2019 Wales Phil Davies
2020 Namibia Johan Diergaardt
2021–present South Africa Allister Coetzee

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Rugby World Rankings
  2. ^ Chris Hewett (29 April 1999). "Rugby Union: England bucks the global growth trend". The Independent.
  3. ^ Tremlett, Sam (13 October 2019). "Namibia Rugby World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide". Rugby World. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  4. ^ Stats
  5. ^ a b "Men's World Rankings". World Rugby. Retrieved 21 March 2022.
  6. ^ Namibia rugby statistics
  7. ^ Namibia`s squad for the 2021 End of Year Internationals
  8. ^ "Rugby Union - ESPN Scrum - Statsguru - Test matches - Player records". ESPN Scrum. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  9. ^ "Rugby Union - ESPN Scrum - Statsguru - Test matches - Player records". ESPN Scrum. Retrieved 23 September 2019.

External links