Uruguay and Chile, the two unbeaten sides from round one, have home advantage when the Sudamérica Rugby A Championship resumes on Saturday.
Los Teros head into their match against Brazil at the Estadio Charrúa in Montevideo buoyed by the return of several of their leading stars as they look to continue their winning start to the region's marquee tournament, which forms part of the RWC 2019 regional qualification process, while Chile welcome Paraguay to Santiago.
Los Teros won their opening game away to Paraguay 45-19 without the services of France-based Felipe Berchesi and captain Juan Manuel Gaminara. But both are back for Saturday’s encounter with Os Tupis, as are other leading lights like Manuel Diana and Gastón Gibernau.
On the flipside, they are without Super Rugby player Nicolas Freitas and influential number eight Alejandro Nieto due to their respective knee and ankle injuries.
Fly-half Berchesi, who played a key role in guiding Uruguay to RWC 2015 and started three games at the tournament, cannot wait to pull on the jersey again.
“I am delighted to be back with Los Teros,” the 26-year-old said. “I had a long injury-related lay-off so I am fresh to play and ready. The team is changing the way it plays which is encouraging.
“To be again on the road to a Rugby World Cup is incredible, it is amazing how time flies! We want to be at the Rugby World Cup in Japan.”
Los Teros have not lost against Os Tupis since 1964 and during the Americas Rugby Championship earlier this year they beat them 23-12 in Punta del Este.
CHILE CAN'T AFFORD TO BE COMPLACENT
Chile, meanwhile, left it late to seal a 15-10 victory over Brazil in round one, with a 75th-minute try proving crucial.
Los Condores have given giant Biarritz second-row Pablo Huete another week to recover from a mild muscle strain and won't be in the starting line-up against Paraguay; with one eye on the potential title decider against Los Teros on 27 May, it was decided not to risk him unless he is 100 per cent fit.
Even if their record in the head-to-head between the sides reads played 26, won 25, Los Condores will have noted the way in which Paraguay opened up Uruguay with three tries in the final quarter.
Also, like Brazil, Paraguay know that anything over than victory will mean their Rugby World Cup dreams are over for another four years and will no doubt be fired up for the game.
Only the winner of the Sudamérica Rugby A Championship 2017 will go forward in the qualification process for RWC 2019 to face the loser of the Americas 1 play-off between USA and Canada, which takes place home and away on 24 June and 1 July.
Whoever comes out on top in that home and away play-off will compete in Pool D at RWC 2019 alongside Australia, Wales, Georgia and Oceania 1 as the Americas 2 qualifier.
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