|Crédito: LaSelección.com.uy Prematch Uruguay v Spain 2013|
The hard work from the URU appears to have achieved great results where it matters most - to the global governing most, the IRB. As a result of the URU´s successful takeover of the Estadio Churrúa in Montevideo and the creation of the High Development Centre at the same location the IRB has decided to increase funding to the South American union by 25%.
The highly important news came out of Dublin on Thursday where global officials had been involved in the annual IRB meeting. With the IRB acknowledging the improvements that have been taking place in Uruguay the national team is set to be much better prepared as it sets-out on a difficult path to secure a place at Rugby World Cup 2015. Uruguay will face the USA home and away in March with the winner qualifying for the World Cup and the loser having one final opportunity to qualify via repercharge.
With the USA Eagles carrying Tier Two status and having more players both at home and abroad the chances of Uruguay being able to build strongly between now and March to knock-over the North Americans are limited, albeit not impossible. The realistic path, and the one which the increased IRB funding can convert into a reality, is that of repercharge. Like in the campaigns for Rugby World Cups 2007 and 2011 Uruguay will face teams from other regions and the only real opposition will come from Europe.
Georgia and Romania are extremely likely to secure direct qualification leaving Russia or possibly Portugal or Spain to fight it out for the right to qualify as the Play-Off Winner. Uruguay would be very happy to face Russia, a team lacking the required resources in the front-row and forwards in general. Indeed the side that won the hearts of many in attendance at Rugby World Cup 2011 by scoring some beautiful tries is a fading memory.
The increased funding will see Uruguay´s annual budget change from the present US$80,000 per year to roughly US$130,000. It will go into aiding players to raise their abilities and performances to assist Uruguay in truly having a High Performance Centre. In conjunction with the established agreement in place with the Uruguayan Ministry of Transport and Public Works Uruguayan rugby now finds itself in an extremely improved standing compared to the past. In conjunction with neighboring Argentina being one of the most recognized rugby nations in the world there is reason to believe the future offers prosperity for Los Teros.