Houston SaberCats vs. Uruguay National Team
Houston SaberCats Host potential 2019 World Cup Participant, Uruguay on Jan. 20 Pre-Season Matchup
The Houston SaberCats faces a huge challenge as they face the Uruguay National Team, Los Teros, Saturday, January 20th at 7 pm CST at Constellation Field in Sugarland, Texas. Uruguay is currently ranked 18th in the world, just behind the United States. Grant Cole and Brett Mills will provide commentary of the Los Teros v SaberCats rugby match starting at 6:30 pm CST on MixLr.
The Sabercats are went undefeated in five scrimmages leading up to their 11 match pre-season. They are currently 1-1 after defeating the Seattle Saracens 50-7 on Jan. 6 and losing in the final minutes to the Vancouver Ravens 26-23.
Houston SaberCats Head Coach Justin Fitzpatrick said, “We are incredibly excited to welcome the Uruguayans to Houston for what will be a great feast of rugby for our SaberCats fans. It is not every day that a club side gets to test its mettle against a national team. We know that the Uruguayans will be a tough test and as a team, we welcome that opportunity. We hope to give our supporters a performance they can be proud of and our friends from Uruguay a warm Texas welcome on and off of the field.”
After the match against the SaberCats, Los Teros will travel to Vancouver where they will play 24th ranked Canada in the 2018 Americas Rugby Championship on January 27. This match also serves as one of the two Rugby World Cup 2019 Qualifier matches. The second qualifier in Uruguay on Feb. 3 at the Estadio Charrúa in Montevideo. The loser of the qualifiers will still have one last chance later in 2018 in a World Rugby repechage tournament.
The SaberCats will host Los Teros as part of their 11-game inaugural season, prior to their Major League Rugby Season opener against the New Orleans Gold April 21, 2018.
Leading up to this matches, coaches and captains for both teams participated in a press conference at 12 p.m. CST on Friday, January 19th. Press and media were invited to come meet the players and coaches to talk about the upcoming matchup at Lucky’s Pub, 801 St. Emanuel Street, Houston, Texas.
Houston SaberCats head coach Justin Fitzpatrick has made three changes from his squad that faced the Vancouver Ravens last week. The changes returned starters from the first match against Seattle Saracens with Diego Maquieira at hooker, Robert Meeson at lock and Malacchi Esdale at wing.
The first week against the Seattle Saracens everyone on the team was in sync. Last week they were too many infractions and this played into the hands of the Vancouver Ravens as they came back to win in the closing minutes. The team will need to retain their possession and to take advantage of opportunities to put points on the board.
Uruguay will test the SaberCats early trying to establish dominance in the scrums. That has been a strength of the SaberCats so far. Look for positional kicking from Los Teros in their attacks.
Uruguay’s Head Coach, Estéban Meneses has named his 23-man team for the match against the Houston SaberCats earlier today. Three other players, Felipe Berchesi (Dax), Rodrigo Capó Ortega (Castres), and Agustín Ormaechea (Strasbourg), playing professionally in France, will join the team in Vancouver in time for the match against Canada next week. Rodrigo Capó Ortega has un-retired from international competition.
The Uruguay team arrived in Houston, Texas on Wednesday, January 17 and were able to practice later that night.
Houston SaberCats: 1 Jamie Dever 2 Diego Maquieira 3 Adam Macklin 4 Robert Meeson 5 Charlie Hewitt 6 Kyle Sumsion (c) 7 Cecil Garber 8 Pago Haini 9 Connor Murphy 10 Sam Windsor 11 Josua Vici 12 Conor Mills 13 Osea Kolinisau 14 Malacchi Esdale 15 Zach Pangelinan 16 Lindsey Stevens 17 Jack Riley 18 Kenneth Hepburn 19 Justin Allen 20 Chris Parker 21 Chris Slater 22 Kieran Farmer 23 Dan Paul 24 Chris Milledge 25 Estevan Florez
Uruguay: 1 Mateo Sanguinetti 2 Germán Kessler 3 Mario Sagario 4 Ignacio Dotti 5 Diego Magno 6 Juan Manuel Gaminara (C) 7 Franco Lammana 8 Alejandro Nieto 9 Santiago Arata 10 Germán Albanell 11 Leandro Leivas 12 Joaquín Prada 13 Juan Manuel Cat 14 Gastón Mieres 15 Rodrigo Silva 16 Matías Benítez 17 Carlos Pombo 18 Juan Echeverría 19 Manuel Leindekar 20 Rodolfo Garese 21 Manuel Diana 22 Nicolás Freitas 23 Andrés Vilaseca