The 2015 South American Championship gets underway this Saturday with Uruguay playing host to Paraguay at the national rugby stadium, Estadio Charrúa in Montevideo. In what is the first official capped international of the year for Los Teros the home side is not going to be able to field a similar team to that expected to feature against Wales in the opening weekend of the World Cup in September. Missing are foreign based players in addition to a number of domestic based players who are out through injury.
Saturday's home international against Paraguay will test the depth of Uruguayan rugby. The Rugby World Cup 2015 participants are to play host to Paraguay on April 11 at 4pm in what is to be the first step towards returning to the World Cup for the first time in twelve years.
Uruguay's fixture list for the South American Championship is an upward slope. Los Teros should find the opposition increasingly competitive with the lowest ranked Paraguay being followed by Brazil before Uruguay plays Chile in an away test match. Before facing Chile, though, Uruguay will play host to the USA.
The home international against the North Americans on April 23 will see two teams lacking their foreign based players facing-off in Montevideo. Uruguay will be counting on the return of a number of players currently sidelined who are in doubt for the matches against Paraguay and Brazil.
In total there are six players unavailable through injury, the most recent of whom is scrumhalf Juan Gaminara who is out for two months after having fractured the fifth metatarsus of his left foot. Also missing are Juan de Freitas (broken arm), Franco Lamanna and Alejandro Nieto (both with torn ACL ligaments), Andrés Vilaseca (two shoulder operations) and Cristofer Soares.
All six are in contention for Rugby World Cup places and are therefore going to be monitored with caution with efforts made to ensure their fitness is prioritized. This Saturday's home international is to be the first of seven between now and May 30. The heavy demand will include tests against both Argentina and Fiji.