Saturday, August 27, 2011

Uruguay at Rugby World Cup 2003

The IRB´s Official weekly rugby show, Total Rugby, recently showed a piece on Uruguay as it continues to take a look back at some World Cup minnows as part of the build up to Rugby World Cup 2011. Uruguay are two time World Cup participants, having played in the 1999 and 2003 tournaments and winning one game on both occasions. The 1999 Rugby World Cup side was captained by the oldest player in the tournament, Diego Ormachea, who went on to coach the side at the 2003 tournament. Ormachea points out the superiority of the World Cup in Australia in 2003 to that of 1999 in Wales in which Uruguay played all of its matches in Scotland. The 2003 event being vastly superior due to not only being only in one country but having far more feeling to it as the World Cup could be seen in the streets, in business´, in hotels and elsewhere.

Together with the 2003 captain, Pablo Lamoine, Ormachea singled out the sides third match of the tournament as being the decisive one. It would define a generation of players, according to the coach of Los Teros. The matches against South Africa and Samoa were considered as being warm-up fixtures for the clash with Georgia while the fourth and final pool match, vs England was also considered as being of secondar importance. All that mattered was the clash with Los Teros and this was clear to be seen at the beginning of the match with the players singing the Uruguayan national anthem like never before and also at the end of the match with the players running into the stands to celebrate the win with their supporters. It was a lasting memory of importance for Uruguayan rugby and for the sport itself in the world. A reminder of the scale of the Rugby World Cup and that there is much more to it than just being champions. South America´s contribution to the global game extends beyond the success´of Los Pumas and this should be embraced by having Argentina host Rugby World Cup 2023.

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