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New Zealand vs Namibia Predictions: Rugby World Cup Betting Tips, News, Lineup

By Jonathan Davies

Published: 11:51, 15 September 2023

New Zealand look to kickstart their Rugby World Cup campaign when they play Namibia in Pool A on Friday.

The All Blacks were beaten by host nation France in their opening match of the tournament. But they are heavy favourites to respond against their African opponents, who were comfortably swept aside by Italy last time out.

New Zealand vs Namibia Betting Tips

Damage limitation for Namibia

Barring a miraculous set of circumstances, you would fully expect New Zealand to comprehensively beat Namibia while remaining in first gear.

The All Blacks had never lost a pool match at the Rugby World Cup before they were humbled by France on the opening night.

So, it is safe to say they have a point to prove and will welcome the opportunity to face Namibia, having beaten them at the past two World Cups by 44 and 62 points respectively.

But like France, with New Zealand opting to rest several key players for matchday two, you would expect their opponents to come close to covering the handicap — though it will be a tight call.

Tip: Namibia +69 Handicap @ 7/5 with BoyleSports

Opportunity knocks for Fainga’anuku

Like New Zealand, you would also expect the wingers to have a field day in Toulouse.

One of the many changes made by Ian Foster sees Leicester Fainga’anuku come in at number 11, and he will be eager to stake his claim for more opportunities as the tournament progresses.

The winger is set to join Toulon after this tournament, so he will also be desperate to show the French crowds what he is capable of and what they can expect.

Therefore, it is definitely worth a punt on him crossing the line on a couple of occasions at the very least.

Tip: Leicester Fainga’anuku to score two or more tries @ 1/2 with Bet365

New Zealand to build momentum as the match goes on

New Zealand know what it takes to score heavily at a Rugby World Cup. Their record number of tries during a single match at the tournament is 21 – achieved against Japan in 1995.

While they may not quite reach that tally here, the All Blacks are looking to answer critics and you would expect them to do just that by filling their boots here.

With so many changes, Foster’s side may take a little bit of time to truly fire on all cylinders. But once they do, it is hard to see any other outcome than the floodgates opening near the Namibia try-line.

Tip: Highest scoring half: Second half @ 5/7 with Sky Bet

New Zealand vs Namibia team news

Sam Whitlock will become New Zealand’s joint most-capped player — along with Richie McCaw — as he starts in one of nine changes from the France defeat.

Meanwhile, there are three players making their Rugby World Cup debuts in Damian McKenzie, Caleb Clarke and Cam Roigard.

New Zealand: Beauden Barrett, Caleb Clarke, Anton Lienert-Brown, David Havili, Leicester Fainga’anuku, Damian McKenzie, Cam Roigard; Ofa Tuungafasi, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Nepo Laulala, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitlock, Luke Jacobson, Dalton Papali’i, Ardie Savea.

Replacements: Dane Coles, Ethan de Groot, Fletcher Newell, Scott Barrett, Tupou Vaa’i, Aaron Smith, Richie Mo’unga, Rieko Ioane.

Meanwhile, Allister Coetzee makes three changes from Namibia’s defeat to Italy on matchday one.

Le Roux Malan, Jason Benade and Prince Gaoseb all come in to start, while eight of the XV began the loss against New Zealand in Japan four years ago.

Namibia: Cliven Loubser, Gerswin Mouton, Johan Deysel, Le Roux Malan, Divan Rossouw, Tiaan Swanepoel, Damian Stevens; Jason Benade, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Johan Coetzee, Johan Retief, Tjiuee Uanivi, Wian Conradie, Prince Gaoseb, Richard Hardwick.

Replacements: Louis van der Westhuizen, Desiderius Sethie, Haitembu Shifuka, PJ Van Lill, Adriaan Booysen, Max Katjijeko, Jacques Theron, JC Greyling.