Namibia are one of the weakest teams at this World Cup and are the second lowest ranked side. The sub-Saharan nation do have World Cup experience with 2023 being their sixth consecutive tournament. However, they have always struggled. The Namibians have the record for the heaviest defeat at a World Cup when they were thumped 142-0 by Australia in 2003 with 22 tries conceded. Namibia may have improved since then, yet they still suffered a 71-9 defeat to the All Blacks at the last World Cup.
The sparsely populated savannah has produced a low yield of Namibian stars. The most famous was the rugged Jacques Burger who was renowned for tackling with his face and a nose that proved it. Burger retired in 2016 and no one else has picked up the mantle to replace him. There is an opportunity for a player to make a name for themselves at this World Cup. Two players who are impressing in the US are the backrower Wian Conradie and the centre Le Roux Malan. Conradie is third for carries and gainline success per 80 in the MLR while Malan is third for clean breaks per 80. Conradie also made the most dominant hits last season and will hope to make an impression just as Burger did.*
Namibia are coached by former Springboks Head Coach, Allister Coetzee. Coetzee's tenure was short-lived as the Boks plummeted to an all-time low with losses to Italy, Argentina and Wales twice. He was then replaced by Erasmus who went on to win the World Cup two years later. Expectations are low for this World Cup with Namibia being drawn in the Pool of Death with France and New Zealand as well as Italy and Uruguay. Coetzee's main aim will be to keep the scoreline respectable and perhaps even improve on their 47-22 defeat to Italy and 71-9 defeat to the All Blacks at the 2019 World Cup.
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