Live updates: Rugby World Cup - All Blacks v Namibia at Stadium de Toulouse

  • 16/09/2023

Live coverage has concluded, please click here for the full wrap

Kia ora and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the All Blacks' second World Cup pool match against Namibia in Toulouse.

Coach Ian Foster has completely overhauled the team that lost to France in last weekend's opener, offering some fringe members of his squad a chance to impress en route to what should be a straightforward win to open their account at the tournament.

The two teams met at the last two editions of the Cup, with the All Blacks winning 58-14 in 2015 and 71-9 in 2019.

Expect another lopsided scoreline on Saturday, as the wounded All Blacks try to prove they've learned some lessons from their comprehensive defeat in Paris.

The match will also be a milestone moment for Sam Whitelock, who'll equal Richie McCaw as the most capped All Black of all time (148 tests). 

TAB betting odds: New Zealand - $1.001 Namibia - $81.00

Team line-ups:

All Blacks: 1-Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2-Samisoni Taukei’aho, 3-Nepo Laulala, 4-Brodie Retallick, 5-Samuel Whitelock, 6-Luke Jacobson, 7-Dalton Papali’i, 8-Ardie Savea (c), 9-Cam Roigard, 10-Damian McKenzie, 11-Leicester Fainga’anuku, 12-David Havili, 13-Anton Lienert-Brown, 14-Caleb Clarke, 15-Beauden Barrett

Reserves: 16-Dane Coles, 17-Ethan de Groot, 18-Fletcher Newell, 19-Scott Barrett, 20-Tupou Vaa’i, 21-Aaron Smith, 22-Richie Mo’unga, 23-Rieko Ioane

Namibia: 1-Jason Benade, 2-Torsten van Jaarsveld, 3-Johan Coetzee, 4-Johan Retief, 5-Tjiuee Uanivi, 6-Wian Conradie, 7-Prince Gaoseb, 8-Richard Hardwick, 9-Damian Stevens, 10-Tiaan Swanepoel, 11-Divan Rossouw, 12-Le Roux Malan, 13-Johan Deysel (capt), 14-Gerswin Mouton, 15 Cliven Loubser

Reserves: 16-Louis van der Westhuizen, 17-Desiderius Sethie, 18-Haitembu Shifuka, 19-PJ Van Lill, 20-Adriaan Booysen, 21-Max Katjijeko, 22-Jacques Theron, 23-JC Greyling

All Blacks resting heavily on mental strength after opening defeat to France

By Grant Chapman

Consecutive comprehensive defeats have probably dented public confidence in another All Blacks World Cup triumph, but off the field, the players are working hard to keep a positive frame of mind, as they prepare to face pool rivals Namibia.

A record defeat to South Africa in their final hitout was followed by a first-ever tournament pool loss to hosts France, as the three-time champions now regroup to chase a spot in the quarter-finals.

Another defeat now would be fatal, but midfielder Anton Lienert-Brown insists he and his teammates are well placed to overcome any doubts that may creep into their preparations.

"It's incredibly important, if you're a professional athlete in whatever sport, you should be putting time into your mind," he explained. "It's something the All Blacks have done for a long time and we're very lucky to have Gilbert Enoka, who is around and does a lot of that work really, really well.

"Yes, the last couple of games have been disappointing for us, and we've got to make shifts in our game and get better, but we've stuck really tight as a group.

"Every individual has their own methods or way how they deal with losses and pressure, but we've also got support groups around us. It could be a good mate in the team and, as I said, Gilbert Enoka. 

"Yes, we've been vulnerable in that space, and we're committed to not worrying about the future and what it holds, but getting better every day - that's what we can control. If you turn up every day and are driven to getting better, those small increments will add up to something good."

Rieko Ioane.
Rieko Ioane. Photo credit: Getty Images

Enoka has been a mainstay of the All Blacks management group since 2000, when he was introduced by then-coach Sir Wayne Smith. He has previously worked with the Blackcaps cricketers and Silver Ferns netballers, and more recently, served a short-time consultancy with the Chelsea English Premier League football club.

He will not return to the national team under new coach Scott Robertson next year.

Probably the biggest letdown over those two defeats has been discipline, which is very much a mental lapse. Lock Scott Barrett was red-carded against the Springboks, after persistent infringement by his teammates and an ill-advised cleanout at the ruck.

Winger Will Jordan was yellow-carded against France for a clumsy aerial challenge and was lucky to avoid further punishment for the same offence after his return to the field.

"Last week, there were probably a few areas that have been cleaned up on, particularly around the breakdown and a little bit around discipline," acknowledge loose forward Luke Jacobson. "There were far too many penalties and it's pretty tough to play rugby, when you concede that many penalties.

"That's probably No.1 looking forward."

Jacobson denies their predicament brings an extra pressure to perform through the rest of their pool campaign, with world champions South Africa or world No.1 Ireland likely looming in the knockout stages.

"Look, losing's not ideal," he said. "It's not what we aim to do.

"It was an awesome stage last week that we've been waiting for for a while, but unfortunately, we didn't quite get things right. The good thing is it's a tournament and we've got more than one shot in the opening game.

"We've got a lot of time to look at ourselves and get better. I don't think it adds extra pressure, we know we need to be winning to win this competition regardless.

"I don't think a whole lot changes from now."