Rugby World Cup qualification means 'a lot of hard work' for Namibia

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Namibia celebrate winning the Rugby Africa Cup and qualifying for the Rugby World CupNamibia beat Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe and Kenya to qualify for the Rugby World Cup

Namibia coach Allister Coetzee says preparations will begin in earnest for the 2023 Rugby World Cup after qualifying for the finals.

The Welwitschias sealed their spot at next year's tournament in France with a 36-0 win over Kenya in Aix-en-Provence on Sunday.

Namibia have never won a World Cup finals game and will line up alongside hosts France, three-time champions New Zealand, Italy and Uruguay in Pool A next year.

"We are really looking forward to the next chapter, but there's a lot of hard work to be done," Coetzee told BBC Sport Africa.

"But this is something exciting for all the people in Namibia. Every rugby-loving person has got a chance to come to France 2023 and follow Namibian rugby."

Namibia beat Burkina Faso and Zimbabwe in the south of France last week before facing Kenya in the Rugby Africa Cup final.

Coetzee has praised the mentality of his side after they secured a seventh successive appearance at the World Cup finals.

"We came together three weeks ago in Stellenbosch and put down a few objectives," he said.

"We are just happy that we have accomplished that and met those objectives, coming out here to win every game. It's a knockout competition, which is quite tough.

"I'm so pleased with the players and with the way we've gone through this championship to qualify. All credit to leadership and all credit to the team. They've done Namibia proud."

The 2023 Rugby World Cup gets underway in early September, with the final in late October.

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