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Namibia Claim Africa 1 Qualification For RWC 2011

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Fuseworks Media
Namibia Claim Africa 1 Qualification For RWC 2011

Namibia has won the battle for the Africa 1 qualification spot for Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC 2011) after defeating Tunisia over a two-match series with an aggregate score of 40-23.

The sides met two weeks ago in Tunis, where Namibia claimed a narrow victory, defeating the home side 18-13. The second leg of their challenge took place yesterday on Namibian homesoil in Windhoek where they defeated the visitors 22-10.

Namibia's qualification now completes Pool D which includes Fiji, Samoa, South Africa and Wales.

"Our warmest congratulations go to Namibia on their qualification for RWC 2011. The completed line up for Pool D is very strong and will provide some exciting matches in 2011. In particular, I am looking forward to Namibia's match against their African neighbours, South Africa," said Rugby New Zealand 2011 Ltd (RNZ 2011) CEO Martin Snedden.

In their first match on September 10, Namibia will face tenth-ranked Fiji at Rotorua International Stadium. They will remain in Rotorua for their second Pool Match on September 14 against Samoa.

Rotorua Mayor Mayor Kevin Winters extended his congratulations to Namibia on their qualification. "There is already a buzz of excitement here in Rotorua and RWC 2011 just can't come soon enough for us. We're planning to make it a big celebration befitting New Zealand's most famous and iconic visitor destination. Rotorua International Stadium will be in great shape to host these matches and our Namibian visitors can be assured of the very warmest of Rotorua welcomes as our various cultures come together for the magnificent international sporting spectacular that is RWC 2011" he said. The team will then travel to the North Shore to take on RWC 2007 Champions and current world number two team South Africa at North Harbour Stadium on September 22.

Said Michael Barnett, Auckland's RWC 2011 political spokesman, "Congratulations to Namibia and we look forward to welcoming the team to Auckland in 2011. We will ensure that the Namibian team has a great Auckland experience while they are here. Their visit will also be a treat for local fans who will have the opportunity to see Namibia play their neighbours and arch rivals South Africa at North Harbour Stadium." In their final Pool Match on September 26, Namibia will come up against Wales at Stadium Taranaki in New Plymouth. New Plymouth District Mayor Peter Tennent is looking forward to hosting the team in Taranaki: "It has taken passion and determination for Namibia to qualify, and it's that drive to succeed that will make the Tournament such an exciting event for everyone," he said. "We're welcoming teams from around the world to this Rugby-mad nation, and when Namibia runs onto the ground at Stadium Taranaki they'll know they're playing in front of thousands of passionate fans."

Namibia have competed in the past three Rugby World Cup tournaments and are currently ranked 22nd in the International Rugby Board (IRB) World Rankings.

Their qualification makes them the 16th team to join RWC 2011, leaving four more spots to be contested prior to 2011 - Europe 1, Europe 2, Asia 1 and the Play-off winner.

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