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'It has to be much earlier': Coetzee's message to the rugby world

REACTION: Namibia head coach Allister Coetzee knows exactly what needs to happen over the next few years for his team to be more competitive on the international stage.

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On Friday, Coetzee’s side suffered a 3-71 defeat to heavyweights New Zealand in their second World Pool A match.

A week earlier, the Africans went down 8-52 to Italy.

When asked what Namibia need to do to get closer to a nation like New Zealand, Coetzee said: “The first thing is we appreciate the support of World Rugby, and they are really doing well.

“We will be having a review of the World Cup in December. It is important that you cannot get all the support a year before [the World Cup], it has to be much earlier in the process.

“It takes players to build the capacity in terms of conditioning, it takes a while, it takes time, it’s not a quick fix. It’s not easy.”

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Coetzee said playing these big teams is invaluable for a country like Namibia.

“Of course. It’s a privilege to face the haka. For a player that’s a challenge that was thrown at them,” Coetzee explained.

“Irrespective of the scoreline, I am proud of the way they stuck in the fight.

“Namibia last played against a top tier one side like the All Blacks [before this World Cup] probably at the last World Cup [2019] and that is the difference.

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“The national side doesn’t have the privilege of playing in the Rugby Championship and other top competitions but they qualified to get to a World Cup, so hopefully in the future, we get more of these games, whereby you learn about the tempo of the game, the pace of the game and the collisions. That is the difference with performance nations like us.”

Namibia have never won a World Cup game and all their focus will now be on their final match against Uruguay after they face the hosts France on Thursday.

“Look, our World Cup is about to start, we are building for that last game, we’ve got our objectives still in sight and for me, if we don’t get any more injuries, we will be fine for the last game,” said Coetzee.

Source: @WorldRugby

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