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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 September 2007, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK
Namibia RWC team guide
A one-stop guide to all you need to know about Namibia for the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

Fixtures (Pool D):

  • v Ireland - 9 September, 1900 BST, Bordeaux
  • v France - 16 September, 2000 BST, Toulouse
  • v Argentina - 22 September, 2000 BST, Marseille
  • v Georgia - 26 September, 1700 BST, Lens

    Recent form: Since the high of seeing off Morocco to secure the second African qualifying berth, things have been predominantly down. They have lost to Romania, Georgia, Uganda and South Africa - although they did beat Zambia.

    Coach: The Namibians have struggled since the last World Cup to cope with the loss of scrum-half Hakkies Husselman, their best-ever player. It is Husselman's job to try and sort out that little conundrum now as he took on the coaching role earlier in the year.

    Captain: Former Leeds Tykes prop Kees Lensing is a serious scrummager and the prop leads from the front. The front row is a position of strength for the Welwitschias and with the current Shark in situ it is easy to see why. He is one of nine survivors from the 2003 squad.

    World Cup pedigree: This will be Namibia's third consecutive World Cup, but they are yet to record a victory. Seven games, seven losses, 70 points for and 485 against. That's an average losing scoreline of 10-69-and-a-bit.

    World Cup high: After 20 minutes against France in 1999 they were level, and by half-time the Bordeaux crowd where on the backs of Les Bleus as there was only 10 points in it. Namibia ended up losing but had scored a try, as they have in all but one World Cup game.

    World Cup low: That one match when they did not cross the whitewash was against Australia four years ago. The Wallabies crossed for 22 touchdowns in a 142-0 victory.

    World Cup legend: Rudi van Vuuren, a doctor by trade, appeared in two World Cups four years ago. A survivor of the 1999 squad, the fly-half came on against Romania having played in cricket's World Cup seven months earlier.

    Present star: Number eight Jacques Burger was excellent in a losing cause against South Africa. Namibia went down 105-13 in August, but the Griquas man, a keen fisherman, emerged with bags of credit for his all-action style.

    Maverick: Two new flyers are keen to catch the eye having made their debuts in the last month. Piet van Zyl has been performing well over the border in South Africa with Boland, while Bradley Langenhoven scored against the Springboks.

    Enforcer: Cornish Pirates lock Heino Senekal, who used to play for Cardiff, is going to his third World Cup. Having been sidelined by a broken thumb he will be raring to go and relishes contact. Opponents have been warned.

    Strengths: First-choice hooker Skipper Badenhorst has pulled out of the World Cup, but the forwards, and particularly the front row, remain a position of power. As well as Lensing, Border duo Marius Visser and Hugo Horn and Boland's Jane du Toit give them brute bulk up front.

    Weaknesses: There is promise in the backs but they lack experience, particularly as injury-prone centre Corne Powell is out. As well as a lack of funding, the build up has been problematic with former coach Johan Venter in dispute with the NRU after being suspended in April.

    Did you know? Percy Montgomery was born in Namibia but broke South Africa's scoring record with a 35-point haul in the recent rout over their neighbours.

    World Cup base: La Ciotat (from 4 September)

    They say: "Namibia has never won a game at the World Cup and our first goal is to correct that. This time we want to go there and compete." Kees Lensing

    You say: "How many times are they going to lose by 100+ points?" wibbley91 on 606

    World ranking: 25

    Odds: 2500/1

    Our verdict: They are the lowest-ranked team in the tournament for a reason, but the match against Georgia should be good. They will have revenge for the June defeat as motive and that first World Cup win as incentive. Unfortunately, neither will prove enough.

    Ranking and odds correct at 26 August. Odds supplied by William Hill.



  • SEE ALSO
    Rugby union positions guide
    05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment
    Country profile: Namibia
    15 May 07 |  Country profiles


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