Thursday, January 8, 2015

Pan American Games: Chile Squad for Qualifiers

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Chilean Rugby Sevens Headcoach Paul Healy has confirmed his twelve-man squad for this weekend's Pan American Games Qualifying in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Chile is to compete in a six-nation tournament against Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela with the aim of finishing in the top two to confirm its place in the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada this coming July. Chile competed as one of eight countries at the 2011 Pan American Rugby Sevens event in Guadalajara, Mexico and stands a strong chance of qualifying for back-to-back tournaments. With 2015 lacking regular international competition this weekend's qualifying tournament is to be vital for Chilean rugby in 2015.  

Qualification for the 2015 Pan American Games will occur this Saturday and Sunday, January 10-11 in the Argentine beach resort city of Mar del Plata. Competing for the right to play in Toronto 2015 are six South American countries of whom the top two will join the pre-qualified Canada, Argentina and USA who were the medalists in Guadalajara 2011.

Three other countries have already confirmed their participation. As winners of the 2014 South American Games in Santiago Uruguay sealed its place while Mexico and Guyana qualified last month during the 2014 NACRA Sevens in Mexico City. All eyes now turn to Mar del Plata to see which two of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela will obtain the last two remaining spot. 

There is a lot of expectation on both Chile and Brazil to qualify. As hosts of the 2016 Olympic Games Brazil has received unprecedented media attention in recent times while Chile has long been the third strongest rugby nation in South America and is a two-time host of the World Rugby Junior World Trophy.

Competing at the Pan American Games would arguably be the highlight of 2015 for Chile. With it being a Rugby World Cup year there are to be no incoming or outgoing tours other than for matches in the South American Championship. Chile will compete against Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay this year.

Chilean Squad
Felipe Brangier
Francisco González
Ignacio Silva
Francisco Urroz
Tomás Ianiszewski
Juan Pablo Larenas
Benjamí  Soto
Francisco Metuaze
Pablo Metuaze
Pedro Pablo Verschae
Anton Petrowitsh
Alfonso Rioja

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