Friday, October 31, 2014

International Rugby: Uruguay's 2015 High Performance Evolution

Photo URU
Due to financial restraints Uruguay is not to be involved in international competition again this year. Los Teros will, in other words, be the only Rugby World Cup 2015 competitor not involved in the autumn internationals which start tomorrow with the USA hosting New Zealand in Chicago and Australia taking-on the Barbarians in London. The resources which Uruguuay does have will be invested into the 2015 campaign with Uruguay to play international rugby against a number of nations and also have the domestic based players receiving salaries to enable them to concentrate more on rugby and less on work.

Retro Friday: Rodrigo Capó Ortega's chest tackle on Lawrence Dallaglio

Twelve years on from facing England on November 02 2003 in Brisbane Rodrigo Capó Ortega is set to play his next Rugby World Cup match in 2015 when Uruguay open against Wales in Cardiff on September 20 2015. The long wait will see the Castres Olympique legend having a second opportunity to face England as the teams meet in Manchester on October 10 in the final Pool A match. Capó Ortega will be playing in the second-row rather than the position of number 8 where he went up against Lawrence Dallaglio in Brisbane. In 2003 the players collided from a kick-off in the final minute of the first half. Dallaglio ran the ball back from the kick-off only to be met front-on by Capó Ortega. The chest tackle saw both players bit hard and Uruguay won a subsequent penalty which was kicked to complete the opening half.     

Thursday, October 30, 2014

International Rugby: USA Eagles v All Blacks Team Lists

Photo USA Rugby
The teams to represent the United States of America and New Zealand this Saturday at Chicago's Soldier Field have been named. The history making fixture was organized to show-case rugby to the American public at home and to pay the visiting All Blacks an appearance fee. The players to feature in the match are based in a number of countries. USA captain Todd Clever is back from Japan while others involved are based in England, France and Scotland. Every All Black, however,  plays his rugby in New Zealand due to an eligibility policy which outlaws those outside of New Zealand from being considered for international duty.

RWC 2015: Total Rugby Previews Pool B featuring the USA

This week's edition o Total Rugby featured a look into the Pool B participants of Rugby World Cup 2015. In what was the second installment of a four part series it was the turn for a brief story to be told of Japan, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa and the USA. The North Americans have a favorable draw in that it features two rather than three Tier One nations. It is, nonetheless, a pool with no weak sides. Both Samoa and Japan have enjoyed all time high World Rankings in 2014 and the North Americans will need to be on their game for both fixtures. 

International Rugby: Bolivia's Path to Building a Test Team


Photo Rugby de Bolivia
Expansion throughout Latin America has seen the creation of a Three-Tier CONSUR structure with clear paths of development. It has seen a changed landscape with the former South American defined entity giving way to a new one which extents to Guatemala and is soon to see America Rugby introduced to replace CONSUR and NACRA. When the expansion began Bolivia was evenly placed with Ecuador, a country now in CONSUR B. Moves, however, are under way to see Bolivia become involved in test rugby. Bolivia now appears set to soon feature in international competition which will see all areas of the CONSUR defined region having participants in international competition. With this the case for Argentina to host Rugby World Cup 2023 continues to gain ground. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Barbarians: Tomás Cubelli to start against Australia

Photo New York Times
Second choice Argentine scrum-half Tomás Cubelli has been named to start for the Barbarians in Saturday's non-capped international fixture against Australia in London. The twenty-fove year old Cubelli is to be joined by two other Pumas with second-rower Matías Alemanno and fullback Joaquín Tuculet both having been named on the bench. With Cubelli starting it is likely that he will be behind Martín Landajo for Argentina's test the following Saturday in Edinburgh. Similarly Alemanno and Tuculet are to come off the bench v Australia, rather than start, to have them in better conditions to start at Murrayfield. This Saturday's match will be played at the home of English rugby and the venue to open and close Rugby World Cup 2015, Twickenham. 

RWC 2015: Assessing Canada's Chances a Year Out

Photo Rugby Canada
The final of Rugby World Cup 2015 is just over one year away. The tournament will come to a close in London on October 31st 2015 making the upcoming autumn internationals the final tour for most teams before the World Cup. The Americas is a powerful player in global rugby as four of the twenty teams are from either North or South America. Despite providing 20% of the teams the Americas is the only continental region yet to be allocated hosting rights to a Rugby World Cup. In the second of four installments Argentina 2023 takes a close look into what awaits the Canadians at the World Cup, who the players will be and the outcome.

Monday, October 27, 2014

International Rugby: Juan Fernández Lobbe ruled out of November Tour

Photo Mundo D
For the second consecutive November Argentina has been dealt a notable injury blow as former captain Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe has been forced out of the European tour. The Toulon back-rower suffered a ruptured bicep and distention to his left thigh and now faces a period on the sidelines. Replacing Fernández Lobbe in the squad will be Javier Desio Ortega who came off the bench early against Australia in Mendoza. Fernández Lobbe is not expected to require surgery but will not return to the field until at least the end of January.  Los Pumas are to face Scotland, Italy and France. 

ITM Cup: Canadian props Buydens and Marshall face-off in NZ

This past weekend featured the finals of the New Zealand provincial championship. Manawatu hosted Hawke's Bay at the same venue in which Argentina faced Georgia at Rugby World Cup 2011. From a Canadian perspective the fixture was of note due to each team having a Canadian prop on the field. Former Prairie Wolf Pack looshead prop Hubert Buydens went up against former BC Bears tighthead prop Jason Marshall. The pairing started for Canada against the All Blacks in Rugby World Cup 2011 but this past weekend they were on opposite teams and tension unfolded following a vertical scrum. The players have both been named in Canada's squad for the November tour of Europe. The squad will leave from Canada on Tuesday.