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Namibia returns to Rugby World Cup on dramatic last day of African qualifying

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ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar - Namibia came from the back of the Africa pack to qualify for its fifth consecutive Rugby World Cup on Sunday.

Needing to win its final match against host Madagascar by 53 points, Namibia won 89-10 and sealed a place in the World Cup in England next year in Pool C beside New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga and Georgia.

Kenya, having beaten Namibia, was in pole position to qualify for its first World Cup, needing only a bonus point, but it didn't claim anything in a 28-10 loss to Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe, which last participated in the World Cup in 1991, also failed to nail down the spot by not gaining a bonus point. That gifted Namibia an unexpected chance and, knowing what it had to do, it produced an inspired effort against the winless tournament hosts to take the Confederation Africaine de Rugby Division 1A title.

Zimbabwe advanced to the repechage later this year against Russia. Hong Kong faces Uruguay in the other playoff. One of them will claim the last qualifying berth.

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