Former Springbok coach Allister Coetzee. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Former Springbok coach Allister Coetzee is now with Namibia. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Former Bok coach Coetzee achieves World Cup dream with Namibia

Former Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has led Namibia to successfully qualify for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

Former Springbok coach Allister Coetzee. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Former Springbok coach Allister Coetzee is now with Namibia. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Coetzee’s gutsy Namibia team have secured their place at a seventh successive Rugby World Cup by beating Kenya 36-0 in the final of the Rugby Africa Cup 2022 in Aix-en-Provence on Sunday.

They qualify as Africa 1 and take their place in Pool A alongside Rugby World Cup 2023 hosts France, New Zealand, Italy and Uruguay. This is effectively a ‘Pool of Death’, with just the top two sides progressing to the quarter-finals.

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The Welwitschias will begin their RWC 2023 campaign against Italy in Saint-Étienne on 9 September, before playing New Zealand in Toulouse on 15 September, France in Marseille on 21 September and finishing against Uruguay in Lyon on 27 September.

Meanwhile, Kenya’s hopes of qualification are not over yet. As the Rugby Africa Cup 2022 runners-up, they will take part in the Final Qualification Tournament  in November, a four-team round-robin competition with Portugal (Europe 3), the Asia/Pacific and Americas 2 play-off losers.

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Coetzee previously enjoyed a troubled time at the helm of the Boks

Coetzee coached the Springboks between April 2016 and February 2018, winning just 11 of 25 (44%) Tests in charge.

The 2023 Rugby World Cup will take place between 8 September and 28 October.

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Namibia centre and captain John Deysel, 30, represented his country during the 2015 competition and the edition held in Japan three years ago, and has said the team was so excited by the prospect of featuring in the showpiece event.

“Knowing what a World Cup is like, having been there, makes you want it more. It would be amazing to qualify again,” Deysel told AFP on Friday.