Uruguay national rugby union team

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Uruguay
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Los Teros
EmblemSouthern lapwing
UnionUruguayan Rugby Union
Head coachEsteban Meneses
CaptainAndrés Vilaseca
Most capsDiego Magno (103)
Top scorerFelipe Berchesi (369)
Top try scorerDiego Ormaechea (33)
Home stadiumEstadio Charrúa
First colours
Second colours
World Rugby ranking
Current18 (as of 2 July 2022)
Highest14 (2005)
Lowest23 (2012, 2013, 2017)
First international
 Chile 21–3 Uruguay 
(Buenos Aires, Argentina; 5 August 1948)
Biggest win
 Paraguay 6–102 Uruguay 
(Puerto Iguazú, Argentina; 14 May 2011)
Biggest defeat
 South Africa 134–3 Uruguay 
(East London, South Africa; 11 June 2005)
World Cup
Appearances5 (First in 1999)
Best resultPool stage (1999, 2003, 2015, 2019)
Websiteuru.org.uy

The Uruguay national rugby union team (Spanish: Selección de rugby de Uruguay) represents Uruguay in men's international rugby union nicknamed Los Teros, is governed by the Unión de Rugby del Uruguay. One of the older test sides in the world, Uruguay has qualified five times for the Rugby World Cup, in 1999, 2003, 2015, 2019 and most recently 2023. As of 10 June 2019 they are ranked 17th in the world, and are ranked 3rd in the Americas region, behind rivals Argentina and the United States.

Uruguay has consistently been one of the better fringe international sides in rugby union, having consistently beaten Tier 2/3 competition from across the globe. Uruguay won the South American Rugby Championship in 1981, the only time (pre-2014) that a team other than Argentina won the tournament. They came second on 19 occasions and third the remaining 9. As of 2012, Uruguay has been classified as a Tier 2 nation, which allows them to receive more funding from World Rugby.

Their home stadium is Estadio Charrúa in Montevideo and holds up to 14,000 people. Estadio Domingo Burgueño has also been used for some fixtures in the Americas Rugby Championship.

The nickname Los Teros refers to the national bird of Uruguay, the southern lapwing.

History[edit]

1900s – 1960s[edit]

Uruguay v. Chile in the 1951 South American championship held in Buenos Aires

Rugby union has been played on Uruguayan soil as possibly as early as the 19th century, with reports of rugby football being played as early as 1865,[1] though the origins of rugby in Uruguay remain controversial. Regardless of whom played the first rugby match in Uruguay, it is clear that rugby was introduced in Uruguay by British immigrants in the 19th century, with the game being more popularized by the Congregation of Christian Brothers, who were of Irish origin. Because of this, Uruguay has one of the oldest rugby cultures outside the British Isles, and one of the most established in the South America.

Uruguay made their official international debut in 1948, in a game against Chile, which Uruguay lost 21–3. Following their debut match, they returned to competition in the Pan American Games, first against the more experienced Argentina, resulting in a 0–62 loss. Uruguay then faced Chile for the second time, defeating them by 8–3. The final match of the competition was a 17–10 win over Brazil. Uruguay thus became runners up in the first unofficial South American Rugby Championship.

Uruguay, after a four years hiatus, played Chile in 1956, who defeated them by 6–3. In 1958, they played for the first official South American Rugby Championship, in a pool of three countries. They first played Chile, this time losing by 9–34. The Teros met again Argentina, having another loss, this time by 3–50. Uruguay managed to defeat Peru (10–6) in the last game.

In 1960, Uruguay faced for the first time one of the powers of the Northern Hemisphere rugby, France XV, losing by 0–61 in Montevideo during a South American tour. Uruguay after this match entered their second South American Rugby Championship. They first won against Brazil in a close game (11–8), then losing to Chile (5–28) and Argentina (3–36) in the closest result to then between both countries.

1970s – 1980s[edit]

The 1970s started off with a win over Paraguay in 1971, which was followed by a win and loss against Chile and a win against Brazil. They also played Argentina twice in the 1970s. However, they won all their matches except for those against Argentina, as well as losing one game against Chile and drawing another. However, the next game against Argentina, two years later in 1979, Uruguay came close to defeating the Pumas, going down by just three points, the final score being 19 to 16.

The 1980s started off with a 54 to 14 win over Paraguay, which resulted in a winning streak that was stopped by Argentina in 1983. In 1985, France visited Montevideo for a second time to play the Teros, beating the locals 34–6. Another short undefeated streak occurred over 1987/1989, which was broken by a 19 to 17 loss against Chile. This was followed by a sound loss to Argentina and loss to a new opponent, the United States Eagles.

1990s[edit]

The southern lapwing, emblem of the Uruguayan National Rugby Team

The 1990s started off with wins against of Chile, Brazil and Paraguay. This was followed by more wins over their traditional opponents, though Uruguay still lost to Argentina, they also played Canada in a competitive 28–9 loss in 1995. Uruguay played some of the bigger nations such as Argentina, Canada and the United States, although the Canada and U.S. games were a lot closer than some of their previous encounters.

A huge success for them was qualifying for the 1999 Rugby World Cup in Wales. They won their pool fixture against Spain, Uruguay finished third in their pool.

2000–present[edit]

2015 Rugby World Cup repechage qualifier match between Uruguay and Russia

Uruguay came within 10 points of Argentina in 2001, and also played nations such as Italy in the same year. Uruguay won most of their matches against their traditional Americas opponents in the early 2000s. Later in 2002, Uruguay defeated Canada, winning 25–23. They followed this up with a 10–9 win over the United States. They again qualified for the 2003 World Cup. They won their pool fixture against Georgia 24–12.

Uruguay's qualification for the 2007 World Cup started in Americas Round 3a, where they were grouped with Argentina and Chile. After losing their first match 26–0 to Argentina, they defeated Chile 43–15 in Montevideo, which saw them enter Round 4. In round 4 they faced the United States, and Uruguay lost on aggregate, and moved onto the repechage round as Americas 4. Uruguay played Portugal in the repechage over two legs — losing the first in Lisbon and winning the second in Montevideo — but lost on aggregate points and failed to qualify.

Uruguay lost the 2011 Rugby World Cup qualification. Uruguay had won the 2009 South American Rugby Championship "A" by defeating Brazil and Chile at the Estadio Charrúa. Uruguay then lost to the United States 22–27 and 6–27. In the repechage, Uruguay defeated Kazakhstan 44–7, but in the battle for the 20th and final spot at the 2011 Rugby World Cup, Uruguay tied Romania at home 21–21 and lost 12–32 in Bucharest.

During the 2015 Rugby World Cup qualifying, Uruguay won the 2013 South American Rugby Championship "A", getting wins at the Estadio Charrúa against Brazil (58–7) and Chile (23–9). In March 2014, Uruguay faced the United States in a NACRA-CONSUR playoff for the last Americas qualification spot. Uruguay tied the home leg 27–27, but lost the away leg 32–13. Uruguay then moved to the repechage, where it defeated Hong Kong 28–3 at the Estadio Charrúa, to face Russia for the 20th and final spot at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Uruguay qualified for the 2015 Rugby World Cup by defeating Russia by an aggregate score of 57–49 in the two-game series, winning the second game at home 36–27 in front of 14,000 fans at the Charrua Stadium.[2]

Uruguay claimed three wins and two losses at the 2016 Americas Rugby Championship, but ranked fourth out of six because they only scored two bonus points. In 2017 the team also claimed three wins and two losses, finishing third. On 3 February 2018, Los Teros qualified for 2019 Rugby World Cup as Americas 2 after beating Canada in the home-away leg, and started it with a surprising 30-27 win over Fiji on 25 September, it was Uruguay’s first World Cup win in 16 years.[3][4]

On 30 October 2019, nightclub in southwestern Japan filed criminal complaint against players from the Uruguay team for 2019 Rugby World Cup for allegedly damaging property.[5]

In 2021, Uruguay qualified for the 2023 Rugby World Cup as Americas 1, after a 1-1 series draw with the United States They lost the first game 19-16, but won the second game 34-15. They won on aggregate points (50-34) and are in Pool A with New Zealand, France, Italy and Africa 1.

Record[edit]

Overall record[edit]

Top 20 as of 28 November 2022[6]
Rank Change* Team Points
1 Steady  Ireland 090.63
2 Steady  France 090.01
3 Steady  New Zealand 088.98
4 Steady  South Africa 088.97
5 Steady  England 083.66
6 Increase3  Australia 081.80
7 Decrease1  Scotland 081.55
8 Decrease1  Argentina 080.72
9 Steady  Wales 078.09
10 Steady  Japan 077.39
11 Steady  Samoa 076.03
12 Steady  Italy 075.95
13 Steady  Georgia 075.19
14 Steady  Fiji 074.84
15 Steady  Tonga 071.21
16 Steady  Spain 067.17
17 Steady  Uruguay 066.24
18 Steady  Portugal 065.97
19 Steady  United States 065.92
20 Steady  Romania 064.79
21 Steady  Namibia 061.60
22 Steady  Chile 060.89
23 Steady  Canada 060.46
24 Steady  Hong Kong 059.66
25 Steady  Russia 058.06
26 Steady  Belgium 055.97
27 Steady  Brazil 055.23
28 Steady  Switzerland 053.80
29 Steady  Netherlands 053.12
30 Steady  Poland 053.03
* Change from the previous week
Uruguay's historical rankings
See or edit source data.
Source: World Rugby[6]
Graph updated to 28 November 2022

Uruguay has lost all official matches versus Argentina, but has a winning record versus their other South American rivals such as Chile, Paraguay and Brazil.

Regarding tier 2 teams, Uruguay has positive records with Namibia, Spain, Portugal and Russia, and negative records with United States, Canada, Japan, Georgia, Romania and Fiji.

Below is table of the representative rugby matches played by a Uruguay national XV at test level up until 17 July 2022.[7]

Opponent Played Won Lost Drawn Win % For Aga Diff
 Argentina 42 0 42 0 0.00% 434 1744 −1310
 Argentina XV 12 4 8 0 30.77% 251 463 −212
 Argentina Jaguars 2 0 2 0 0.00% 40 101 −61
 Australia 2 0 2 0 0.00% 13 110 −97
 Belgium 1 1 0 0 100.00% 39 13 +26
 Brazil 31 28 3 0 90.32% 1060 328 +732
 Canada 13 5 8 0 33.33% 232 370 −141
 Chile 53 40 12 1 75.47% 1279 814 +465
Ireland Emerging Ireland 3 0 3 0 0.00% 43 126 −83
 England 2 0 2 0 0.00% 16 171 −155
 Fiji 4 1 3 0 25.00% 76 181 −105
 Fiji XV 1 0 1 0 0.00% 3 24 −21
 Fiji Warriors 3 1 2 0 33.33% 73 82 −9
 France XV 3 0 3 0 0.00% 16 136 −120
 Georgia 6 2 4 0 33.3% 86 141 −55
 Germany 1 0 1 0 0.00% 21 24 −3
 Hong Kong 1 1 0 0 100.00% 28 3 +25
 Italy 4 0 4 0 0.00% 35 109 −75
 Emerging Italy 4 2 2 0 50.00% 90 89 +1
 Italy A 1 0 1 0 0% 13 31 –18
 Japan 5 1 4 0 20.00% 54 165 −111
 Kazakhstan 1 1 0 0 100.00% 44 7 +37
 Morocco 2 1 1 0 50.00% 36 24 +12
 Namibia 4 3 1 0 75.00% 142 112 +30
 New Zealand XV 1 0 1 0 0.00% 3 64 −61
 Paraguay 26 25 0 1 96.15% 1322 238 +1084
 Peru 1 1 0 0 100.00% 10 6 +4
 Portugal 10 7 3 0 70.00% 234 142 +92
 Romania 11 1 9 1 9.09% 121 285 −164
 Russia 9 5 4 0 55.55% 231 215 +16
 Samoa 1 0 1 0 0.00% 13 60 −47
 Scotland 1 0 1 0 0.00% 12 43 −31
 Scotland A 1 0 1 0 0.00% 3 27 −24
 South Africa 3 0 3 0 0.00% 12 245 −233
South Africa South Africa President's XV 1 0 1 0 0.00% 9 37 −28
 Spain 13 7 6 0 53.85% 250 198 +34
 United States 20 4 15 1 20% 361 612 −251
 Venezuela 1 1 0 0 100.00% 92 8 +84
 Wales 2 0 2 0 0.00% 22 89 −67
Total 299 142 153 4 47.49% 6793 7565 −800

World Cup record[edit]

World Cup record World Cup Qualification record
Year Finished Played Won Drew Lost Pts F Pts A P W D L F A
AustraliaNew Zealand 1987 Not invited
United KingdomRepublic of IrelandFrance 1991 Did not enter Did not enter
South Africa 1995 Did not qualify 3 2 0 1 91 28
Wales 1999 Pool Stage 3 1 0 2 42 97 9 6 0 3 209 188
Australia 2003 Pool Stage 4 1 0 3 56 255 6 3 0 3 115 144
France 2007 Did not qualify 6 2 0 4 86 140
New Zealand 2011 6 3 1 2 194 107
England 2015 Pool Stage 4 0 0 4 30 226 8 6 1 1 239 146
Japan 2019 Pool Stage 4 1 0 3 60 140 8 8 0 0 318 160
France 2023 Qualified TBD
Total 4/7 15 3 0 12 188 718 46 30 2 14 1252 913

Current squad[edit]

On 25 October, Uruguay named a 30-man traveling squad for their European tour matches against Georgia, Romania and Tonga.[8]

Head Coach: Argentina Esteban Meneses

  • Caps Updated: 19 November 2022
Player Position Date of birth (age) Caps Club/province
Facundo Gattas Hooker (1995-07-02) 2 July 1995 (age 27) 38 United States Old Glory DC
Germán Kessler Hooker (1994-07-01) 1 July 1994 (age 28) 59 France Provence
Guillermo Pujadas Hooker (1997-02-06) 6 February 1997 (age 25) 25 Uruguay Peñarol
Matías Benítez Prop (1988-05-16) 16 May 1988 (age 34) 43 Uruguay Peñarol
Juan Echeverría Prop (1991-10-09) 9 October 1991 (age 31) 64 Uruguay Peñarol
Matías Franco Prop (1996-03-05) 5 March 1996 (age 26) 4 Uruguay Peñarol
Ignacio Péculo Prop (1999-02-22) 22 February 1999 (age 23) 11 Uruguay Peñarol
Reinaldo Piussi Prop (1999-05-18) 18 May 1999 (age 23) 1 Uruguay Carrasco Polo Club
Mateo Sanguinetti Prop (1992-07-26) 26 July 1992 (age 30) 77 Uruguay Los Cuervos
Felipe Aliaga Lock (1999-09-14) 14 September 1999 (age 23) 4 Uruguay Peñarol
Ignacio Dotti Lock (1994-08-18) 18 August 1994 (age 28) 58 United States New Orleans Gold
Manuel Leindekar Lock (1997-04-23) 23 April 1997 (age 25) 25 France Bayonne
Diego Magno Lock (1989-04-27) 27 April 1989 (age 33) 103 Uruguay Peñarol
Manuel Ardao Back row (1998-09-09) 9 September 1998 (age 24) 20 Uruguay Peñarol
Lucas Bianchi Back row (2001-03-26) 26 March 2001 (age 21) 6 Uruguay Peñarol
Santiago Civetta Back row (1998-02-28) 28 February 1998 (age 24) 22 Uruguay Peñarol
Manuel Diana Back row (1996-03-07) 7 March 1996 (age 26) 36 Uruguay Peñarol
Eric Dosantos Back row (1995-02-25) 25 February 1995 (age 27) 13 Uruguay Peñarol
Santiago Álvarez Scrum-half (2001-12-24) 24 December 2001 (age 20) 5 Uruguay Peñarol
Santiago Arata Scrum-half (1996-09-02) 2 September 1996 (age 26) 45 France Castres Olympique
Tomás Inciarte Scrum-half (1996-10-22) 22 October 1996 (age 26) 30 Uruguay Peñarol
Felipe Berchesi Fly-half (1991-04-12) 12 April 1991 (age 31) 43 France Dax
Felipe Etcheverry Fly-half (1996-06-23) 23 June 1996 (age 26) 17 Uruguay Peñarol
Juan Zuccarino Fly-half (1999-05-05) 5 May 1999 (age 23) 2 Uruguay MVCC
Juan Manuel Alonso Centre (2001-09-19) 19 September 2001 (age 21) 7 Uruguay MVCC
Felipe Arcos Pérez Centre (2001-05-17) 17 May 2001 (age 21) 9 Uruguay Peñarol
Andrés Vilaseca (c) Centre (1991-05-08) 8 May 1991 (age 31) 73 France Vannes
Nicolás Freitas Wing (1993-07-03) 3 July 1993 (age 29) 48 France Vannes
Rodrigo Silva Wing (1992-11-02) 2 November 1992 (age 30) 76 Uruguay Peñarol
Gastón Mieres Fullback (1989-10-05) 5 October 1989 (age 33) 80 Uruguay Lobos

Individual all-time records[edit]

Most matches[edit]

# Player Pos Tenure Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Won Lost Draw %
1 Diego Magno Flanker 2008- 103 64 39 60 12 48 53 2 50.00
2 Gaston Mieres Fullback 2010- 80 70 10 85 17 43 35 2 56.57
3 Mateo Sanguinetti Prop 2014- 77 64 13 20 4 40 37 0 54.28
4 Leandro Leivas Wing 2008-2019 76 63 13 120 24 32 42 2 43.42
Mario Sagario Prop 2006-2019 76 53 23 5 1 32 42 2 43.42
Rodrigo Silva Fullback 2012- 76 69 7 114 19 40 36 0 56.71
7 Andres Vilaseca Wing 2013- 73 70 3 95 16 40 32 1 58.33
8 Juan Manuel Gaminara Flanker 2010-2019 71 66 5 35 7 34 35 2 49.29
Alejandro Nieto Number 8 2012-2019 71 62 9 35 7 40 30 1 57.04
10 Carlos Arboleya Hooker 2004-2018 67 39 28 25 5 29 37 1 44.02
Rodrigo Sanchez Prop 1996-2009 67 58 9 25 5 26 41 0 38.80

Last updated: Tonga vs Uruguay, 19 November 2022. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most tries[edit]

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries
1 Diego Ormaechea Number 8 1979-1999 54 51 3 151 33
2 Leandro Leivas Wing 2008-2019 76 63 13 120 24
3 Rodrigo Silva Fullback 2012- 75 68 7 114 19
4 Gaston Mieres Fullback 2010- 80 70 10 85 17
5 German Kessler Hooker 2015- 58 43 15 80 16
Andres Vilaseca Wing 2013- 73 70 3 100 16
7 Santiago Arata Scrum-half 2016- 45 29 16 70 14
Federico Sciarra Scrum-half 1990-1999 40 38 2 272 14
9 Alfonso Cardoso Centre 1995-2003 38 35 3 67 13
10 Diego Magno Flanker 2008- 103 64 39 60 12

Last updated: Tonga vs Uruguay, 19 November 2022. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most points[edit]

# Player Pos Span Mat Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop
1 Felipe Berchesi Fly-half 2011- 43 369 2 55 82 1
2 Federico Sciarra Scrum-half 1990-1999 40 272 14 36 44 1
3 Juan Menchaca Fullback 1998-2007 39 254 6 28 51 5
4 Jerónimo Etcheverry Fly-half 2008-2016 45 213 8 37 30 3
5 Mathias Arocena Fly-half 2005-2014 36 204 8 25 37 1
6 Federico Favaro Wing 2013- 37 200 11 38 23 0
7 Marcelo Nicola Fly-half 1989-1995 22 178 10 36 20 0
8 Agustín Ormaechea Scrum-half 2011- 54 157 8 21 25 0
Jorge Zerbino Flanker 1973-1985 27 157 8 19 29 0
10 Diego Ormaechea Number 8 1979-1999 54 151 33 0 0 0

Last updated: Tonga vs Uruguay, 19 November 2022. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most matches as captain[edit]

# Player Pos Span Mat Won Lost Draw % Pts Tries
1 Juan Manuel Gaminara Flanker 2016-2019 40 27 13 0 67.50 20 4
2 Diego Ormaechea Number 8 1985-1999 36 20 16 0 55.55 109 23
3 Jorge Zerbino Flanker 1975–1985 20 12 6 2 65.00 120 7
4 Andres Vilaseca Center 2018-present 17 12 5 0 80.00 15 3
5 Diego Aguirre Fly-half 2002-2003 16 6 10 0 37.50 21 1

Last updated: Tonga vs Uruguay, 19 November 2022. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Notable players[edit]

Past Coaches[edit]

Since the 1999 Rugby World Cup

Years Coach
1994–2000 Uruguay Daniel Herrera
2001–2003 Uruguay Diego Ormaechea
2004–2005 Uruguay Sebastián Piñeyrúa
2006–2007 Uruguay Nicolás Inciarte & Uruguay Fernando Silva
2007 Uruguay José Brancato & Uruguay Francisco Berrutti
2007–2008 Uruguay Alberico Passadore
2008–2009 Argentina García Porcel
2009 Uruguay Felipe Puig
2010 Argentina Gonzalo Camardón
2011 Uruguay Sebastián Piñeyrúa
2011–2015 Uruguay Pablo Lemoine
2015–present Argentina Esteban Meneses

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Richards, p54, Chapter 2 Practising the Games of the Anglo-Saxon...
  2. ^ "Uruguay qualify for Rugby World Cup 2015" Archived 2014-10-12 at the Wayback Machine, IRB.com, 11 October 2014.
  3. ^ "Uruguay shock Fiji in World Cup thriller to pull off historic victory". Guardian. 24 September 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  4. ^ "Uruguay pull off massive shock with World Cup win over Fiji". The 42. 25 September 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  5. ^ "Rugby: Nightclub files criminal complaint against Uruguay players". Kyodo News. 30 October 2019. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Men's World Rankings". World Rugby. Retrieved 28 November 2022.
  7. ^ Uruguay rugby statistics
  8. ^ Los Teros squad named for European tour

External links[edit]