|Photo: Portal do Rugby|
Brazil and Uruguay have confirmed their places in the 2015 Hong Kong Sevens. The annual event played in the Southern Chinese city is commonly regarded as the most prestigious Rugby Sevens competition. The two South American countries confirmed their participation today as the qualified by virtue of results at Chile's leading Rugby Sevens event in the city of Viña del Mar. The event will be played over three days in March and will involve seven countries from the Americas - Argentina, Canada, Chile, Guyana, Mexico, Uruguay and the USA.
Brazil's qualification will spark optimism for rugby authorities in the country ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games in the country's former capital city, Rio de Janeiro. A lot of pressure is on Brazil to host the event well and World Rugby has its eyes firmly placed on Brazil due to Rugby Sevens debuting at the Games.
Brazil's men's Rugby Sevens and senior teams are both fighting their way up the South American ladder. Improvements in recent times has seen scorelines change and there have been signs that the team will be closer to Uruguay in future years than to Paraguay. Progress, though, has not been a one-way street as Paraguay defeated Brazil in 2014 just weeks after Brazil had recorded a history making win over Chile.
Last weekend Chile and Brazil qualified for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. They joined the pre-qualified home nation in addition to Argentina, the USA, Guyana, Mexico and Uruguay. Chile finished first with a narrow victory over Brazil and today in Viña del Mar this result was reversed which saw Brazil qualify for the Hong Kong Sevens in dramatic fashion.
Uruguay finished ahead of Brazil by winning a match at the start of qualification earlier today by the scoreline of 5-0. Brazil struck back by defeating Peru 61-0 and defeated the host nation 7-0. Chile then required a win over Uruguay and came very close only to finish the match with a 5-5 draw. Uruguay consequently finished first and Brazil second. Brazil's win over Chile was the first since 2011.
Uruguay was undefeated which sees Los Teros ground-breaking year become even bigger. Uruguay is an example of the significance of qualifying for a Rugby World Cup. Los Teros will have an extensive international program which will see tests both home and abroad that the union has struggled to acquire in previous years. Uruguay is also to play in both the Pan American Games and Hong Kong Sevens.