Open main menu

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
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

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 28 May 2018 they are ranked 24th in the world.[1]

Contents

HistoryEdit

1990sEdit

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–presentEdit

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.

World Cup RecordEdit

World Cup record World Cup Qualification record
Year Round P W D L F A P W D L F A
   1987 Not invited Not invited
    1991 Did not enter Did not enter
  1995 Did not qualify 6 4 1 1 218 104
  1999 Pool Stage 3 0 0 3 42 186 5 4 0 1 127 78
  2003 Pool Stage 4 0 0 4 28 310 4 3 0 1 197 73
  2007 Pool Stage 4 0 0 4 30 212 6 4 0 2 192 96
  2011 Pool Stage 4 0 0 4 44 266 4 3 1 0 115 58
  2015 Pool Stage 4 0 0 4 70 174 7 5 0 2 289 159
  2019 Qualified 5 5 0 0 347 278
Total 5/8 19 0 0 19 214 1148 37 28 2 7 1138 981

RecordEdit

Top 30 rankings as of 8 July 2019[3]
Rank Change* Team Points
1     New Zealand 092.54
2     Wales 089.96
3     Ireland 088.69
4     England 086.27
5     South Africa 084.58
6     Australia 082.40
7     Scotland 080.17
8     France 079.42
9     Fiji 077.95
10     Argentina 077.05
11     Japan 075.24
12     Georgia 074.42
13     Tonga 073.02
14     Italy 072.04
15     United States 071.71
16     Samoa 068.78
17     Spain 068.15
18     Romania 066.69
19     Uruguay 065.18
20     Russia 064.81
21     Canada 061.36
22     Portugal 061.33
23     Namibia 061.01
24     Hong Kong 059.64
25     Netherlands 058.46
26     Brazil 057.84
27     Belgium 057.35
28     Germany 054.96
29     Chile 054.56
30      Switzerland 053.19
*Change from the previous week
Namibia's historical rankings
 
Source: World Rugby - Graph updated to 7 January 2019[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 XV 2 0 2 0 0.00% 38 86 -48
  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 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 151 87 62 2 57.62% 4787 3866 +921

Current squadEdit

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 22) 12   Welwitschias
Niël van Vuuren Hooker (1991-05-31) 31 May 1991 (age 28) 5   Welwitschias
AJ de Klerk Prop (1987-12-09) 9 December 1987 (age 31) 25   Welwitschias
André Rademeyer Prop (1998-06-24) 24 June 1998 (age 21) 2   Western Province
Des Sethie Prop (1992-12-09) 9 December 1992 (age 26) 9   Welwitschias
Jason Benade Prop (1995-04-16) 16 April 1995 (age 24) 1   Welwitschias
Casper Viviers Prop (1988-06-01) 1 June 1988 (age 31) 36   Welwitschias
Ruan Ludick Lock (1994-09-07) 7 September 1994 (age 24) 17   Welwitschias
Adriaan Ludick Lock (1998-07-22) 22 July 1998 (age 20) 2   Welwitschias
Tjiuee Uanivi Lock (1990-12-31) 31 December 1990 (age 28) 27   London Scottish
Renaldo Bothma Loose forward (1989-09-18) 18 September 1989 (age 29) 17   Harlequins
Thomasau Forbes Loose forward (1988-10-12) 12 October 1988 (age 30) 15   Welwitschias
Prince ǃGaoseb Loose forward (1998-07-07) 7 July 1998 (age 21) 1   Blue Bulls
Rohan Kitshoff Loose forward (1985-09-13) 13 September 1985 (age 33) 43   Welwitschias
Max Katjijeko Loose forward (1995-04-08) 8 April 1995 (age 24) 10   Welwitschias
Damian Stevens Scrum-half (1995-06-02) 2 June 1995 (age 24) 22   Boland Cavaliers
Wihan von Wielligh Scrum-half (1997-07-26) 26 July 1997 (age 21) 1   NWU Pukke
Cliven Loubser Fly-half (1997-02-24) 24 February 1997 (age 22) 12   UP Tuks
PW Steenkamp Fly-half (1997-12-11) 11 December 1997 (age 21) 6   Welwitschias
Darryl de la Harpe Centre (1986-10-02) 2 October 1986 (age 32) 46   Welwitschias
JC Greyling Centre (1991-06-21) 21 June 1991 (age 28) 29   Welwitschias
Henrique Olivier Centre (1997-07-03) 3 July 1997 (age 22) 1   Eastern Province Elephants
Janry du Toit Wing (1996-08-26) 26 August 1996 (age 22) 2   Welwitschias
Justin Newman Wing (1995-02-17) 17 February 1995 (age 24) 12   Leopards
Chad Plato Wing (1998-04-21) 21 April 1998 (age 21) 1   Kudus
Johann Tromp Wing (1990-12-23) 23 December 1990 (age 28) 39   Welwitschias
Chrysander Botha Fullback (1988-07-13) 13 July 1988 (age 31) 55   Welwitschias
TC Kisting Fullback (1994-01-13) 13 January 1994 (age 25) 6   Welwitschias

Individual all-time recordsEdit

Most capsEdit

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop Won Lost Draw Win %
1. Eugene Jantjies Scrum-half 2006–present 67 46 21 77 4 15 8 1 36 29 1 54.47
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 49 39 10 45 9 0 0 0 26 22 0 53.06
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
Johann Tromp Centre 2012-present 40 31 9 95 19 0 0 0 24 16 0 60.00
10. Jacques Burger Flanker 2004–2015 37 37 0 35 7 0 0 0 19 18 1 51.31
Casper Viviers Prop 2010– 37 28 9 5 1 0 0 0 21 16 0 56.75

Last updated: 15 June 2019 [6]

Most triesEdit

# 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 32 25 7 100 20 0 0 0
6. 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: 15 June 2019 [7]

Most pointsEdit

# 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. Cliven Loubser Fly-half 2017-present 15 13 2 159 4 50 13 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 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 32 25 7 100 20 0 0 0

Last updated: Namibia vs Russia, 15 June 2019. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most points in a matchEdit

# Player Pos Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop Opposition Venue Date
1. Justinus van der Westhuizen Fly-half 33 3 9 0 0   Zambia   Windhoek 26/05/2007
2. Jaco Coetzee Fly-half 30 3 6 1 0   Kenya   Nairobi 07/07/1993
3. Chrysander Botha Fullback 29 2 5 3 0   Ivory Coast   Windhoek 27/06/2009
4. Moolman Olivier Fly-half 26 1 11 0 0   Portugal   Windhoek 21/04/1990
Cliven Loubser Fly-half 26 2 8 0 0   Morocco   Casablanca 30/06/2018
6. Riaan van Wyk Wing 25 5 0 0 0   Madagascar   Windhoek 15/06/2002
Theuns Kotzé Fly-half 25 1 4 4 0   Russia   Windhoek 18/07/2015
8. Gerhard Mans Wing 24 6 0 0 0   Portugal   Windhoek 21/04/1990
Mot Schreuder Fly-half 24 0 12 0 0   Kenya   Windhoek 27/05/2006
Theuns Kotzé Fly-half 24 0 12 0 0   Madagascar   Windhoek 06/07/2014

Last updated: Namibia vs Russia, 15 June 2019. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most tries in a matchEdit

# Player Pos Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop Opposition Venue Date
1. Gerhard Mans Wing 24 6 0 0 0   Portugal   Windhoek 21/04/1990
2. Riaan van Wyk Wing 25 5 0 0 0   Madagascar   Windhoek 15/06/2002
3. Eden Meyer Wing 20 4 0 0 0   Zimbabwe   Windhoek 16/05/1992
Melrick Afrika Wing 20 4 0 0 0   Kenya   Nairobi 16/08/2003
Renaldo Bothma Number 8 20 4 0 0 0   Madagascar   Nairobi 06/07/2014
Rohan Kitshoff Flanker 20 4 0 0 0   Senegal   Windhoek 08/07/2017
JC Greyling Centre 20 4 0 0 0   Tunisia   Windhoek 23/06/2018
Lesley Klim Wing 20 4 0 0 0   Tunisia   Windhoek 23/06/2018
9. 15 players on 3 tries

Last updated: Namibia vs Russia, 15 June 2019. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most matches as captainEdit

# 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. 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: Namibia vs Russia, 15 June 2019. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  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 8 July 2019.
  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 15 June 2019.
  7. ^ "Rugby Union - ESPN Scrum - Statsguru - Test matches - Player records". ESPN Scrum. Retrieved 15 June 2019.

External linksEdit