RWC: 5 Things You Need to Know About Uruguay
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RWC: 5 Things You Need to Know About Uruguay

RWC: 5 Things You Need to Know About Uruguay

Uruguay have qualified twice for the World Cup before. This year, they are in the toughest pool in the competition and will be up against it from the start. Their main hope will be an upset win over Fiji.

Here are five things you need to know about the team before you sit down to watch them play the Wallabies on September 27.

1.  They are Los Teros

USA v Uruguay - 2015 Rugby World Cup Qualifying Match

The Teros is also known as the Southern Lapwing. It’s a lot like our plover, but without the dirty great spike on the wing and aggressive nature. One of the bird’s primary purposes seems to be as food for bigger birds. Unfortunately for Los Teros, this could be an omen for their World Cup campaign in 2015.

2.  The Scrum

Like neighbours, Argentina, Uruguay are big on forward play. Most of the overseas-based players on the team are tight forwards. Experienced props Mario Sagario plays in France and Alejo Corral plays in Argentina. Corral is also the younger brother of Argentine front row legend Matias. They have 88 test caps between them and Los Teros will be relying on their strength and experience. While Uruguay have had two RWC wins, I think some would say their finest RWC moment was when they man-handled the South African scrum in 1999.

Juan Miguel Alvarez of Uruguay takes a lineout ball

Uruguay v England at the 2003 Rugby World Cup

3.  Felipe Berchesi

Flyhalf Berchesi was the key to Los Teros’ most recent win over Russia. He kicked 21 points in their second match and propelled the team into RWC 2015. Berchisi is an elusive ball runner as well, being an experienced 7s campaigner. He has 12 caps for the Teros and plays his club Rugby in Italy.

4.  Ormeacheas everywhere

Uruguayan team captain Diego Ormeachea (R), oldest

Diego Ormeachea (right) at the 1999 World Cup

Diego Ormeachea is regarded as the greatest Rugby player Uruguay has produced. The number 8 was famously the oldest player at the 1999 World Cup where he scored a try in their victory over Spain. In 2003, he was the Uruguayan coach. This year, his two sons Augustin and Juan Diego will be in the squad. Scrumhalf, Augustin, has been instrumental in the Teros’ recent successes and is a particular menace running close to the ruck. Juan is an up and coming loose forward who may be pivotal in the absence of Rodrigo Ortega.

5.  The Elephant (Not) in the Room

Castres Olympique v Toulon - Top 14 Final

Rodrigo Capo Ortega (right)

Controversy struck the team when Castres lock Rodrigo Capo Ortega suddenly and inexplicably retired from international Rugby. As Uruguay’s only fully professional player, the 35-year old had been expected to bring leadership and direction to the team. However, his retirement brought into question the influence European clubs have on the minnow nations.

 

Lead image by PABLO PORCIUNCULA via Getty Images

  • Lindommer

    WTF doesn’t the iRB/WR come down hard on Ortega’s European club? Same for when the European clubs lean on their PI charges to “retire” from international rugby.

    • Nick

      It’s disgraceful isn’t it. One of the unfortunately bad things about the game going professional.

  • Kiap

    Los Teros do have spurs on their wings. Just not big enough to fight clubs like Castres Olympique.

  • Patrick

    It will be a tough tournament for Los Teros. My guess is that their best bet is that Wales bring out the full B team and they can get one over them.

    Fiji will be, I suspect, a nightmare for them, because they will be chasing the faint hope that they can get the second spot (and its a faint hope).

    • Nick

      They won’t be strong enough for Wales B though realistically. What they should try to do is combat Fiji with a strong forward game and try to starve Fiji of back line ball. Will be a really interesting match of opposing styles.

      • Patrick

        It should be, but Fiji have been looking good lately. Not to mention the sheer destructiveness of their runners, I can’t see Uruguay containing Nadolo and he is only one big fast unit in that team.

        • Nick

          They would have to put in a masterful performance to beat Fiji. I just think it will be an interesting match. Especially if it is raining and the game slows down.

  • Hard enough to find on a map

    • Chris M

      I had to resist using the joke that comes with that so, so much.

  • Mitch T Gray

    Unlike their Argentine neighbours, The Uruguayans prefer ‘Red’ Laser pointers…

  • Nick

    Does anyone else remember playing with or against Uruguay in Rugby 2001? Pablo Lemoine was a favourite of mine as a huge unit of a prop and I distinctly remember the commentary always going on about Diego Lamelas who was their hooker. “Lamelllllaaaaaas”. Fond memories.

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Mrs Mac thinks Chris talks about Rugby far too much. She's probably right. If he's not coaching, he's watching. And if he's not doing either, he's jibbering incessantly about it. He has also been named as a finalist in the Asteron Life Community Coach of the Year for 2015. Mrs Mac remains unimpressed.

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