The 2019 Rugby World Cup will take place from September 20th to November 2nd in twelve cities across Japan.
Currently, Namibia (also known as the Welwitschias or Biltongboere) is celebrating after their win against Kenya that placed them in the 19th spot of the qualifying teams for RWC 2019. Who is Namibia and what is their rugby history like?
Namibia debuted at the Rugby World Cup in 1999. Unfortunately, the team has the standing record of losing every RWC match they've played since then. However, things may be looking up for the team with current coach, Phil Davies. Davies led the Welwitschias through their first points made in a Rugby World Cup tournament, as well as some of their first-ever wins against teams like Russia. The Welwitschias are placed in Pool B for the 2019 tournament. This pool includes defending champions, New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and the lucky team who will take the final qualifying spot in the Repechage match.
Though Namibia's history can get as embarrassing as their record-breaking 142-0 defeat by Australia in the 2003 Rugby World Cup, the team has had some minor wins and shining moments that leave room for hope.
In the 2015 RWC, Namibia gained their first-ever World Cup point and got the chance to play against the famous All Blacks. During this match, Namibia player, Johan Deysel's try against New Zealand had the majority of the audience out of their seats and on their toes. However, New Zealand came out on top, beating Namibia 58-14.
The Final RWC Qualifiers
When will the final team qualify for the Rugby World Cup?
19 teams so far have qualified for the 2019 tournament. The top three teams from each of the four pools in the 2015 RWC automatically qualified for next year's tournament. The final eight spots are determined by regional slots and cross regional play-offs. The 20th and final team will be decided by the winner of a Repechage tournament in November of this year. In recent years, the format for the last-chance matches have followed the knockout format of the rest of the qualification matches. However, this year, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong and Kenya will compete in a round-robin format event that will be played across three match days on Sunday, November 11, Saturday, November 17, and Friday, November 23. The winner of these matches will be the final qualifying team of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
List of RWC 2019 Qualifiers
South Africa (automatic)
New Zealand (automatic)
The United States