Rugby World Cup: New Zealand team to play Namibia - Ruck

Rugby World Cup: New Zealand team to play Namibia

New Zealand look to record their first win at the 2023 Rugby World Cup tonight, as they take on Namibia in Toulouse. The All Blacks lost their first ever Rugby World Cup pool stage match last weekend, in their 27-13 defeat to France.

Namibia also struggled to find any form in their opening weekend loss to Italy last Saturday. The Azzurri ran out a compelling performance against the Southern African side, and racked up a heavy 52-8 score-line. The pressure is on the All Blacks to win, but also to win well if they want to improve their chances of progressing out of Pool A.

Currently, France sit atop of Pool A with two wins, following their 27-12 victory over Uruguay last night. Italy are sat in second, as they recorded a bonus point win and a strong points difference of +44 over Namibia last weekend. If the All Blacks want to move up into the progression spots for the knock-out stages, they will need to rack up a winning margin greater than Italy’s 44 points difference.

Sam Whitelock will equal Richie McCaw as the most capped All Black in test history in Toulouse as he runs out for his 148th match. Only Alun Wyn Jones (171) has more international caps. This is also his 21st Rugby World Cup match, one behind joint record holders McCaw and England’s Jason Leonard. And Whitelock played in both previous meetings between the All Blacks and Namibia, scoring one of his seven international tries against them.

This will be the third time in a trio of Rugby World Cups that New Zealand and Namibia have met in the pool stage. The All Blacks won comfortably both times, 58-14 at London’s Olympic Stadium in 2015, and 71-9 at the Tokyo Stadium four years ago. 

Coach Ian Foster has made nine starting line-up changes for New Zealand’s second match of the tournament, with Nepo Laulala, Sam Whitelock, Dalton Papali’i, Ardie Savea, Beauden Barrett and Anton Lienert-Brown all retaining their places. 

New Zealand and Namibia take centre stage in Toulouse tonight, with a GMT kick off time of 8pm.


15. Beauden Barrett

14. Caleb Clarke

13. Anton Lienert-Brown

12. David Havili

11. Leicester Fainga’anuku

10. Damian McKenzie

9. Cam Roigard

1. Ofa Tuungafasi

2. Samisoni Taukei’aho

3. Nepo Laulala

4. Brodie Retallick

5. Samuel Whitelock

6. Luke Jacobson

7. Dalton Papali’i

8. Ardie Savea (captain) 

New Zealand Replacements

16. Dane Coles

17. Ethan de Groot

18. Fletcher Newell

19. Scott Barrett

20. Tupou Vaa’i

21. Aaron Smith

22. Richie Mo’unga

23. Rieko Ioane 


15. Cliven Loubser

14. Gerswin Mouton

13. Johan Deysel (captain)

12. Le Roux Malan

11. Divan Rossouw

10. Tiaan Swanepoel

9. Damian Stevens

1. Jason Benade

2. Torsten Van Jaarsveld

3. Johan Coetzee

4. Johan Retief

5. Tjiuee Uanivi

6. Wian Conradie

7. Prince Gaoseb

8. Richard Hardwick

Namibia Replacements: 

16. Louis van der Westhuizen

17. Desiderius Sethie

18. Haitembu Shifuka

19. PJ Van Lill

20. Adriaan Booysen

21. Max Katjijeko

22. Jacques Theron

23. JC Greyling