February 27, 2015
Chile – Uruguay Americas Rugby Championship Preview
Chile versus Uruguay is an intriguing match. Both teams enter the match off losses to the United States and Argentina XV, respectively. Chile was shutout for the first time in 47 years, while Uruguay had a heartbreaking loss on a last second penalty kick.
Pride is a stake and more importantly, World Rugby ranking points. A win for Uruguay would have them replacing Namibia in 20th place, while a loss would have them fall to 22nd place below Spain. A Chile win would have them overtake Hong Kong into 23rd place, while a loss would see them fall to 28th place behind Korea, Portugal, Germany and Belgium. Chile also hopes to move ahead of Uruguay in the Americas Rugby Championship standings with a win, while Uruguay seeks to cement their current fourth place status and possibly move to third should Canada falter.
If trends are an indicator, Uruguay has had the upper hand recently in head to head play. However in the 2015 South American Championship, Chile beat Uruguay 30-15 in Santiago
Head coach Elías Santillán has made seven changes for Los Cóndores from their loss last week against the United States in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Nicolás Venegas and Rodrigo Moya will start at loosehead prop and hooker, respectively. Veteran hooker Manuel Garruchaga enters the squad as a reserve along with prop Roberto Oyarzún. Nikola Bursic enters at lock, and Cristóbal Niedmann is back at flanker. Ignacio Álvarez will be a reserve for the first time.
The backs also have some changes with Ítalo Zunino and José Ignacio Larenas on the wings and Leonardo Montoya at fullback.
Uruguay forwards were able to effectively gain numberous penalties in last week’s narrow loss to Argentina XV. They have made one change in the forwards with lineout specialist Matías Beer selected in place of try-scorer Juan Diego Ormaechea. World Cup hooker Carlos Arboleya is a reserve, along with Rafael Mones and Gonzalo Soto.
There are three changes in the backs, with Leandro Leivas and Alberto Román at wing and center respectively. Rodrigo Silva’sreturns to the starting lineup as a fullback, having played flyhalf for the first two games of the tournament.
The match will be held at CARR, La Reina, Santiago and kicks off at 6pm local time, 4pm EST. It will be broadcast live on ESPN3.
Referee: Damián Schneider (Argentina). Assistants: Claudio Ruz and Luis Díaz (both Chile)
Chile Squad: 1 Nicolás Venegas 2 Rodrigo Moya 3 Luis Sepúlveda 4 Nikola Bursic 5 Raimundo Piwonka 6 Cristóbal Niedmann 7 Javier Richard 8 Benjamín Soto (cap) 9 Beltrán Vergara 10 Cristian Onetto 11 Ítalo Zunino 12 Francisco de la Fuente 13 Matías Nordenflycht 14 José Ignacio Larenas 15 Leonardo Montoya. Res: 16 Manuel Gurruchaga 17 Roberto Oyarzun 18 José Tomás Munita 19 Ignacio Silva 20 Ignacio Álvarez 21 Matthieu Manas 22 Pablo Casas 23 Matías Contreras
Uruguay Squad: 1 Mateo Sanguinetti 2 Germán Kessler 3 Juan Echeverría 4 Diego Magno 5 Mathias Palomeque 6 Juan Gaminara (cap) 7 Matías Beer 8 Alejandro Nieto 9 Guillermo Lietjenstein 10 Martín Secco 11 Leandro Leivas 12 Alberto Román 13 Andrés Vilaseca 14 Federico Favaro 15 Rodrigo Silva. Res: Carlos Arboleya 17 Facundo Gattas 18 Rafael Mones 19 Gonzalo Soto 20 Juan Diego Ormaechea 21 Manuel Blengio 22 Santiago Arata 23 Pedro Deal
Other Americas Rugby Championship matches this weekend include Brazil v USA and Argentina v Canada.