Coach vows ‘haka’ if Namibia upset Italy at Rugby World Cup

TOKYO (AFP) – Namibia’s defence coach has vowed to perform an All Black-style haka if his lowly team manages to upset Six Nations side Italy in their Pool B encounter on Sunday.

Dale McIntosh was asked how he would celebrate a win for his side, the lowest ranked at the Rugby World Cup at 23.

“I’m Maori but I’m an adopted Welshman so I can give a waiata (Maori song) or I can give a hymn. And I’m not bad at them. If we beat Italy on Sunday you’ll certainly see the haka later that night,” he joked.

Namibia are aiming for their first ever World Cup win in this year’s edition. Until now, their record is played 19, lost 19.

Along the way, there have been some drubbings, including a 142-0 defeat to the Wallabies in 2003 – the biggest margin of defeat at the Rugby World Cup and an 87-0 thrashing by the Springboks eight years later.

McIntosh said the team was “fed up” with being World Cup whipping boys but said the “process” was more important than the result.

“If Italy beat us by 90 points I won’t be disappointed as long as the boys give it their all,” said McIntosh. “People can have their preconceptions of Namibia but we are a different animal to what we used to be. We are better and these boys are a passionate bunch of lads. We’ll give it our best shot.”