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Rugby World Cup 2023: Namibia Hoping to End Wait for First World Cup Win

Namibia are hoping to end their 25-game wait for a first win at the Rugby World Cup with victory over Uruguay in their final Pool A game on Wednesday.

The African side have been knocked out in the pool stages after losing every game in the last six tournaments.

They came closest to a win with a one-point defeat by Georgia in 2015.

Namibia have suffered heavy defeats by Italy, New Zealand and France in their opening three games in 2023 and face winless Uruguay in their Lyon finale.

Head coach Allister Coetzee said victory over Uruguay could “change a lot” for the country.

“It is up to us and how we are going to finish this one,” said Coetzee.

“The players know that a game like this – and what a win means for the country – can change a lot. So we will pitch up.

“It’s important for us to get over that final hurdle.”

Namibia will be aiming for victory without captain Johan Deysel, who is suspended after receiving a red card for a dangerous tackle on France captain Antoine Dupont in their 96-0 defeat.

Coetzee says his players want to produce a positive performance for their skipper.

“As a group we owe it to him,” he said.

“A positive result would deflect his red card and the focus would be on our performance. That is one objective we want to achieve as well, make sure we soften that red card blow.”

‘Pressure’ on Uruguay, says Vilaseca

Uruguay captain Andres Vilaseca says his side cannot confirm the progress plenty of observers feel they have made at the World Cup without a victory over Namibia.

The South American side are ranked 17th in the world, with Namibia four places behind in the standings.

It will be their first meeting at the World Cup but second of the year after Uruguay won 26-18 in their last meeting in Montevideo.

“Uruguay have only won three games in all the history of the Rugby World Cup, and this adds perhaps some pressure on our side,” Vilaseca said.

“We must accept this as there are a lot of people talking about the good performances we are having at this World Cup.

“We have received very nice messages, too, but the truth is that if we do not win against Namibia we wouldn’t confirm this great progress.”

Source : BBC