Namibia
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Welwitschias
EmblemAfrican fish eagle
UnionNamibia Rugby Union
Head coachPhil Davies
CaptainJohan Deysel
Most capsEugene Jantjies (68)
Top scorerTheuns Kotzé (344)
Top try scorerGerhard Mans (27)
Home stadiumHage Geingob Rugby Stadium
First colours
Second colours
World Rugby ranking
Current23 (as of 16 September 2019)
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, 2015 and 2019
Websitewww.namibianrugby.com

The Namibia national rugby union team, 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 23 September 2019, they are ranked 23rd 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 have qualified once again for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Wins against Tier 1 nations

Record vs Touring Teams

Record

Top 30 rankings as of 25 November 2019[4]
Rank Change* Team Points
1 Steady  South Africa 094.19
2 Steady  New Zealand 092.11
3 Steady  England 088.82
4 Steady  Wales 085.02
5 Steady  Ireland 084.45
6 Steady  Australia 081.90
7 Steady  France 080.88
8 Steady  Japan 079.28
9 Steady  Scotland 079.23
10 Steady  Argentina 078.31
11 Steady  Fiji 076.21
12 Steady  Italy 072.04
13 Steady  Tonga 071.44
14 Steady  Georgia 071.26
15 Steady  Samoa 070.72
16 Steady  Spain 068.15
17 Steady  United States 068.10
18 Steady  Uruguay 067.41
19 Steady  Romania 066.69
20 Steady  Russia 063.09
21 Steady  Hong Kong 061.25
22 Steady  Canada 061.12
23 Steady  Namibia 061.01
24 Steady  Portugal 061.01
25 Increase  Netherlands 060.08
26 Decrease  Brazil 058.89
27 Increase  Belgium 055.74
28 Decrease  Germany 054.64
29 Increase  Chile 053.83
30 Increase  Korea 053.11
*Change from the previous week
Namibia's historical rankings
Namibia IRB World Rankings.png
Source: World Rugby - Graph updated to 18 November 2019[4]

Below is table of the representative rugby matches played by a Namibia national XV at test level up until 24 September 2019.[5]

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 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 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
 Scotland A 1 1 0 0 0.00% 23 20 +3
 Senegal 4 4 0 0 100.00% 163 40 +123
 South Africa 3 0 3 0 0.00% 16 249 -233
 Spain 7 2 5 0 28.57% 156 178 -22
 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 32 29 3 0 90.63% 1198 665 +533
Total 155 89 64 2 57.42% 4841 3998 +843

Current squad

Namibia named a 31-man squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup on 2 September.[6]

Player Position Date of birth (age) Caps Club/province
Obert Nortjé Hooker (1997-04-17)17 April 1997 (aged 22) 17 Welwitschias
Louis van der Westhuizen Hooker (1995-02-25)25 February 1995 (aged 24) 21 Welwitschias
Torsten van Jaarsveld Hooker (1987-06-30)30 June 1987 (aged 32) 16 France Bayonne
Aranos Coetzee Prop (1988-05-14)14 May 1988 (aged 31) 24 South Africa Free State Cheetahs
AJ de Klerk Prop (1987-12-09)9 December 1987 (aged 31) 31 Welwitschias
André Rademeyer Prop (1998-06-24)24 June 1998 (aged 21) 6 Welwitschias
Des Sethie Prop (1992-12-09)9 December 1992 (aged 26) 13 Welwitschias
Nelius Theron Prop (1997-01-29)29 January 1997 (aged 22) 7 South Africa Leopards
Johan Retief Lock (1995-10-10)10 October 1995 (aged 23) 10 South Africa Leopards
Tjiuee Uanivi Lock (1990-12-31)31 December 1990 (aged 28) 33 France Massy
PJ van Lill Lock (1983-12-04)4 December 1983 (aged 35) 52 France Bayonne
Adriaan Booysen Loose forward (1996-05-17)17 May 1996 (aged 23) 7 Welwitschias
Wian Conradie Loose forward (1994-10-14)14 October 1994 (aged 24) 19 Welwitschias
Thomasau Forbes Loose forward (1988-10-12)12 October 1988 (aged 30) 19 Welwitschias
Prince ǃGaoseb Loose forward (1998-07-07)7 July 1998 (aged 21) 3 Welwitschias
Max Katjijeko Loose forward (1995-04-08)8 April 1995 (aged 24) 15 Welwitschias
Rohan Kitshoff Loose forward (1985-09-13)13 September 1985 (aged 34) 45 Welwitschias
Janco Venter Loose forward (1994-09-19)19 September 1994 (aged 25) 28 Jersey Jersey Reds
Eugene Jantjies Scrum-half (1986-08-10)10 August 1986 (aged 33) 71 Welwitschias
TC Kisting Scrum-half (1994-01-13)13 January 1994 (aged 25) 10 Romania Baia Mare
Damian Stevens Scrum-half (1995-06-02)2 June 1995 (aged 24) 27 South Africa Boland Cavaliers
Cliven Loubser Fly-half (1997-02-24)24 February 1997 (aged 22) 17 Welwitschias
Darryl de la Harpe Centre (1986-10-02)2 October 1986 (aged 32) 51 Welwitschias
Johan Deysel (c) Centre (1991-09-26)26 September 1991 (aged 27) 23 France Colomiers
Justin Newman Centre (1995-02-17)17 February 1995 (aged 24) 16 Welwitschias
Janry du Toit Centre (1996-08-26)26 August 1996 (aged 23) 3 Welwitschias
JC Greyling Wing (1991-06-21)21 June 1991 (aged 28) 35 Welwitschias
Lesley Klim Wing (1995-01-16)16 January 1995 (aged 24) 13 Wales Ospreys
PJ Walters Wing (1993-04-23)23 April 1993 (aged 26) 2 Welwitschias
Chad Plato Fullback (1998-04-21)21 April 1998 (aged 21) 4 Welwitschias
Johann Tromp Fullback (1990-12-23)23 December 1990 (aged 28) 43 Welwitschias

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–present 70 46 24 72 3 15 8 1 35 34 1 50.71
2. Chrysander Botha Fullback 2008–present 55 53 2 209 28 15 13 0 34 20 1 62.72
3. Tinus du Plessis Flanker 2006–2016 52 44 8 40 8 0 0 0 27 24 1 52.88
4. PJ van Lill Flanker 2006–present 51 34 17 35 7 0 0 0 25 25 1 50.00
5. Darryl de la Harpe Centre 2010–present 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. Rohan Kitshoff Flanker 2010–present 45 31 14 110 22 0 0 0 24 21 0 53.33
8. Johann Tromp Centre 2012-present 43 34 9 95 19 0 0 0 24 19 0 55.81
9. Theuns Kotzé Fly-half 2011–present 40 35 5 430 6 110 55 5 21 19 0 52.50
10. Casper Viviers Prop 2010–present 37 28 9 5 1 0 0 0 21 16 0 56.75

Last updated: 06 October 2019 [7]

Most tries

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop
1. Chrysander Botha Fullback 2008–present 55 53 2 209 28 15 13 0
2. Gerhard Mans Wing 1990–1994 27 26 1 114 26 0 0 0
3. Rohan Kitshoff Flanker 2010–present 45 31 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 35 28 7 105 21 0 0 0
6. Johann Tromp Centre 2012–present 43 34 9 95 19 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-present 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: 06 October 2019 [8]

Most points

# 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 55 53 2 209 28 15 13 0
4. Cliven Loubser Fly-half 2017-present 17 15 2 169 4 52 15 0
5. Mot Schreuder Fly-half 2002-2007 19 17 2 158 4 42 18 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 45 31 14 110 22 0 0 0
9. JC Greyling Centre 2014–present 35 28 7 105 21 0 0 0
10. Eden Meyer Wing 1991-1996 21 20 1 102 22 0 0 0

Last updated: New Zealand vs Namibia, 06 October 2019. 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: New Zealand vs Namibia, 06 October 2019. 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. 15 players on 3 tries

Last updated: New Zealand vs Namibia, 06 October 2019. 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
4. Rohan Kitshoff Flanker 2014-present 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
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: New Zealand vs Namibia, 06 October 2019. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Rugby World Rankings
  2. ^ Chris Hewett (29 April 1999). "Rugby Union: England bucks the global growth trend". The Independent.
  3. ^ Stats
  4. ^ a b "Men's World Rankings". World Rugby. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  5. ^ Namibia rugby statistics
  6. ^ "Jantjies on verge of fourth tournament". rugbyworldcup.com. Rugby World Cup. 2 September 2019. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  7. ^ "Rugby Union - ESPN Scrum - Statsguru - Test matches - Player records". ESPN Scrum. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  8. ^ "Rugby Union - ESPN Scrum - Statsguru - Test matches - Player records". ESPN Scrum. Retrieved 23 September 2019.

External links