Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pan American Games Rugby Sevens - Preview Brazil

In the final look at the eight participating countries in the groundbreaking 2011 Pan American Games, in Guadalajara, Mexico, it is time to look at what may be the dark horses of the tournament, Brazil. Ranked fourth in South America behind Argentina, Uruguay and Chile is a country in which rugby is booming with new clubs springing up with regularity and playing numbers growing at faster rates than in any other sport. The country has a domestic championship, something World Cup Bronze Medal winners, Australia lack. The players have been experiencing increased exposure in both Rugby union and Sevens with Brazil playing much more frequently in 2010 and 2011 than five years previosuly. The incerased exposure has seen the level rise with Brazil defeating Argentina in the 2011 South American Sevens Championship. The history making win was the first time that Argentina had lost to its Portuguese speaking neighbours and Brazil went on to finish third after losing a Semi Final to Uruguay but recovering to defeat Chile in the battle for third place.

Brazil is to face Chile in Guadalajara as well as Canada and the United States of America. The match vs Chile has been singled out as a must win match but Brazil has shown so much improvement that wins vs the North Americans are not out of the question. The team is captained by Fernando Portugal who is a former professional player, having played in Italy for two years. He left Brazil looking for a professional contract alongside Sevens teammate Erick Cogliandro who was also to play in Italy as a professional but was injured in a pre-season match. Another player of note is Lucas Rodrigues Duque who stared for the CONSUR XV in June of this year as Argentina took on a South American XV in San Juan. Duque was the only try scorer for the South American XV, scoring two tries after chasing his own kicks through.

Brazil Squad

Daniel Hubert Gregg (Niterói)
Diego Martins Gimenes Lopez (Pasteur)
Diogo Borges Reno (São José)
Erick Monfrinatti Cogliandro (São José)
Felipe Claro Santana Silva (SPAC)
Fernando Henrique Jungers Portugal captain (Bandeirantes)
Henrique Dantas Pinto (São José)
João Luiz da Ros (Desterro)
Lucas Rodrigues Duque (São José)
Moisés Rodrigues Duque (São José)
Rafael Santos Dawailibi (São José)

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