As the lowest-ranked team at the 2011 World Cup, Namibia might be expecting something of a whipping.
But after sailing through African qualifying, beating Senegal, Ivory Coast and Tunisia, and putting in a creditable performance at the IRB Nations Cup in June, the Welwitschias (as they are nicknamed, after Namibia's national symbol) might just achieve their first ever World Cup win in New Zealand.
Having said that, though this will be Namibia's fourth straight World Cup, their record of no wins and 11 defeats underlines their position as long-shots. The 2003 competition was a particular disappointment for the team, as they shipped 310 points in their four pool matches - including an embarrassing 142-0 defeat to Australia.
Four years later they pushed Ireland hard in their opening pool match, eventually going down 32-17, but ended on a sour note with a 30-0 shut-out defeat against fellow minnows Georgia.
The experienced Jacques Niewenhuis at number eight - one of the few players in the team to play outside Namibia, for French second-tier side Aurillac - was a try-scorer in that Ireland game, and he will captain the side in New Zealand. He, along with the rest of the Namibian squad, will want to break their World Cup duck in 2011.
World Cup squad:
Backs: Johannes Bock, Chrysander Botha, Hendirk Dames, Darryl de la Harpe, Ryan de la Harpe, Eugene Janjties, Theuns Kotze, Tertius Losper, Conrad Marais, David Philander, Llewellyn Winkler, Daniel van Wyk, Mcgrath van Wyk, Willem van Zyl
Forwards: Jacques Burger (captain), Egbertus O'Callerghan, Nico Esterhuyse, Hendrik Franken, Hugo Horn, Uakazuvara Kazombiaze, Rohan Kitshoff, Heinze Koll, Raol Larson, Pieters van Lill, Jacques Nieuwenhuis, Reaud van Neel, Tinus du Plessis, Johannes Redelinghuys, Johannes du Toit, Marius Visser
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