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Lowly Namibia may lose but 'won't be for want of trying'

Namibia are ranked 23rd in the world, the lowest at the 2019 World Cup, and have never won a match at the global showcase - their best result was a narrow 16-15 loss to Georgia in 2015.

FILE: Namibia's players celebrate after scoring a try at the end of a Pool C match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Argentina and Namibia at Leicester City Stadium in Leicester, central England, on 11 October, 2015. Picture: AFP

TOKYO - Minnows Namibia are preparing to give their all at the Rugby World Cup, head coach Phil Davies said as he named his team to take on Italy on Sunday.

"In the next four weeks, we'll be judged on how well we've done over the past four years," Davies told reporters, seemingly not looking beyond the group stages with Namibia drawn with New Zealand and South Africa, in addition to Six Nations team Italy.

"I hope they can achieve and fulfil all their dreams over the next four weeks because it won't be for the want of trying, that's for sure," added Davies.

Namibia are ranked 23rd in the world, the lowest at the 2019 World Cup, and have never won a match at the global showcase - their best result was a narrow 16-15 loss to Georgia in 2015.

They have been on the wrong end of a few hidings as well - losing 142-0 to Australia, the biggest margin of defeat ever seen at the tournament, and 87-0 to South Africa.

Welshman Davies said his team was well prepared to face Italy, who are perennial whipping boys in the Six Nations but should have far too much firepower for Namibia.

"We know we're fit enough. We have an adaptable way of playing and it's a great opportunity, a great challenge and the boys deserve all the credit," he said.

Defence coach Dale McIntosh has vowed to perform an All Black-style haka if they do manage to pull off an upset.

Namibia (15-1)

Johan Tromp; Chad Plato, Justin Newman, Darryl De La Harpe, JC Greyling; Cliven Loubser, Damian Stevens; Janco Venter, Wian Conradie, Rohan Kitshoff; Tjiuee Uanivi (cap), PJ Van Lill; Johannes Coetzee, Torsten George Van Jaarsveld, Andre Rademeyer

Replacements: Louis van der Westhuizen, AJ De Klerk, Nelius Theron, Johan Retief, Max Katjijeko, Eugene Jantjies, Helarius Axasman Kisting, Lesley Klim

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