Lat weekend Brazil captain Yan Rosetti was “supporting” Uruguay in their bid to qualify for Rugby World Cup 2019, something they achieved with a 32-31 victory over Canada in Montevideo.
That ‘support’, though, has now been replaced with a desire to beat Los Teros when the sides meet in the second round of the Americas Rugby Championship 2018 on Friday at the Estadio do Pacaembu in Sao Paulo.
“Once they were the South American team in the qualifying process we were all supporting them,” admitted Brazil's 24-year old captain.
“We’ve seen their hard work and they are a mirror for all of us … but on Friday we want to beat them.”
Rosetti led Brazil to a 16-14 win over Chile last weekend – their first ever on Chilean soil – and is looking for his side to continue to build on that result in the remainder of the Americas Rugby Championship, but also has an ambitious long-term goal.
“We want to get better in every tournament. We were fifth in 2016, fourth in 2017,” admitted Rosetti. “Then we want to qualify for the Rugby World Cup in 2023.”
With a larger and growing pool of players, the game is in a fine state at the elite level and growing.
“Playing in the Americas Rugby Championship is very important for us. It is what motivates us to grow, to work. It is our fuel.”
Brazil’s growth is evident just in the lifecycle of the Americas Rugby Championship.
Before the first edition in early 2016, Brazil occupied 45th place in the World Rugby Rankings and their only competition was the South American Championship, the A or B division depending on their results.
Germany visited for a two-test series in late 2015, Rosetti making his international debut in the first match, in a new position and far from home.
Born in Brazil to an Argentine father and a Brazilian mother, he spent his first five years in the country and then moved to Argentina where he had ambitions of playing for Los Pumas.
After playing provincial U21 rugby, he realised that dream would never happen and, thanks the Olympic Games, the Confederação Brasileira de Rugby (CBRu) were searching for eligible players living outside of the country.
“I was a flanker then and trialled for the sevens team but didn’t make it,” explained Rosetti, who is now based in Sao José dos Campos, a satellite city of Sao Paulo.
There was an opportunity to play 15s, though.
More Brazilian than ever!
“I was told to move to hooker and at my club, CUBA, they also wanted me there.
“I think it (the match against Germany) was also my first game as hooker so it was very, very tough. I managed to play 15 minutes of test rugby towards the end of the game against USA that first year, which I enjoyed.”
He became a fixture in the team thanks to his ability to play in the set pieces and his capacity to roam around the pitch and be in contact with the ball.
“Fortunately, adaptation was quick and whilst last year I went back to Argentina for the second half of the season, I am now based in the country and will sign a contract with the CBRu,” added Rosetti, whose siblings still live in Buenos Aires.
“Now I am more Brazilian than ever. It is an incredible country, great people, wonderful beaches, great scenery. I am even getting better at speaking Brazilian!”
Photo credit: Marcelo Arancibia
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Americas Rugby Championship 2018 - Round 5
CHILE v CANADA: 17-33
URUGUAY v USA: 19-61
BRAZIL v ARGENTINA XV: 8-28