Friday, December 5, 2014

International Rugby: Uruguay Test Matches in 2015

Photo The Courier Mail
Uruguay's preparation for competing in Rugby World Cup 2015 in England and Wales is well under way with the URU having announced unprecedented moves away from amateurism to help bridge the gap between Uruguay and the powerful nations which await Los Teros at the World Cup. Uruguay is to play against both England and Wales in their respective countries and also face two-time winners Australia and two-time quarter finalists Fiji. In order to be as prepared as possible measures have been taken to prepare the players and and also have them involved in a packed international calendar.     

URU President Sebastián Piñeyrúa is working on a calendar which will see Uruguay play test rugby against multiple Rugby World Cup 2015 teams prior to the tournament and also play against noteworthy sides ranging from South African teams to the French Barbarians.

Of note is the help that Piñeyrúa has received from UAR President Carlos Araujo and IRB Hall of Famer Agustín Pichot. Both are making an effort to ensure that their neighbors have the best possible preparation ahead of the World Cup.

The year is set to begin in February with a complete program being put in place right up until September, the month of the Rugby World Cup. Reports indicate that Uruguay is to take-on a Vodacom Cup side from the South African competition in Montevideo followed by a three match tour in which Los Teros will face Vodacom Cup teams in South Africa.

In March Uruguay will have matches against Argentina's A team, Los Jaguares and also take-on Chile. Although it will be a capped international Uruguay will not be able to select professional players based in Europe. The following month Montevideo will be the setting for a test match against the USA, likely to be played in early April.

With the match being outside of the World Rugby international window the teams will be missing their professional players and Uruguay will also face Brazil and Paraguay in the South American Championship without professionals. The CONSUR tournament is to be confirmed for late April and early May with Uruguay also facing Argentina in a reversed format to that of 2014.

Uruguay's Pool A rivals in Rugby World Cup 2015, Fiji are then to play a test match in Montevideo in late May which will serve both as preparation for the World Cup and for Uruguay's participation in the Tbilisi Cup in Georgia or the Nations Cup in Romania. It is yet to be confirmed which of the two will feature Los Teros.

Upon returning to South America Uruguay is to play host to the French Barbarians at the Estadio Charrúa in Montevideo which will bring to an end the international season. The players are to then have two weeks off before starting the training program which will involve a visit to the high performance centre in Pensacola, Florida to undergo the same activity that Los Pumas have done so since 2011.

On the first of August Uruguay is to then face Argentina in a farewell test match before flying to Romania to play test matches against Romania and Tonga. From there Uruguay is to play in France against either a Top 14 club or a test match against Belgium. The team will be based in Marcoussis, the FFR's high performance centre. 

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