Namibia qualifies for 2023 Rugby World Cup

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France (AP) — Namibia qualified for a seventh successive Rugby World Cup in 2023 after beating Kenya 36-0 in the Rugby Africa Cup final at Stade Maurice-David on Sunday.

Namibia advanced as Africa 1 into Pool A with tournament host France, New Zealand, Italy and Uruguay.

Kenya, yet to play in a World Cup, remained alive in qualifying by making the four-team repechage tournament in November.

Namibia was favored to advance from the Rugby Africa Cup played out in southern France. The team beat Burkina Faso 71-5 in the quarterfinals last week and two-time World Cup side Zimbabwe 34-19 in the semifinals on Wednesday.

The Namibians hadn’t lost to Kenya in eight years, winning the last five matchups, and not scoring less than 45.

They dominated from the start and Kenya was flattered to be trailing only 15-0 at halftime. But Namibia struggled to put points on the board, and boosted the score with two tries in the last two minutes by Wian Conradie and captain Johan Deysel.

Namibia’s World Cup opener will be against Italy on Sept. 9, 2023 in Saint-Étienne followed six days later by the All Blacks in Toulouse.


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