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The two-legged Sudamerica Rugby Sevens Series gets underway in Uruguay this weekend with five of the 12 participating teams competing for the two remaining tickets at RWC Sevens 2018.
The Punta del Este Sevens, first played in 1989 and one of the venues for the inaugural HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in 2000, will kick-off the series on Saturday and Sunday, with the finale coming a week later in Viña del Mar, Chile.
Disregarding Argentina who have already qualified, the top two South American teams from Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Paraguay and Colombia will make it through to San Francisco, the venue for the next edition of RWC Sevens, as well as qualifying for the Hong Kong Sevens. The top South American team, other than Los Pumas Sevens, will also be invited to take part in the Las Vegas and Vancouver legs of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
Click HERE for full details of the RWC Sevens 2018 qualification process
In addition to the six best sides from the region, the Sudamerica Sevens Series line-up also contains national academy/development teams from South Africa, Ireland, France, Germany, USA and Canada.
CONFIDENCE HIGH IN HOME CAMP
With two crunch RWC 2019 qualifiers against Canada on the horizon, Uruguay chose not to select any of their leading 15s players for this weekend’s home tournament. However, Los Teros Sevens still have capped players in the experienced duo of captain Gabriel Puig and Guillermo Liejtenstein, while big things are expected of youngsters Joaquín Alonso and Francisco Berchesi.
Hopes for the home team at the Campus de Maldonado are high after an intense build-up, as Los Teros Sevens look to qualify for their fourth RWC Sevens tournament.
“We started the process with 25 very committed players that worked very hard at their fitness. We played in five tournaments, some international, and the players showed their ability. We have a solid squad of players,” explained former sevens captain and current Los Teros Sevens assistant coach Ignacio Conti.
Conti is confident of his team’s chances of making it to the States in August. “I see Uruguay qualifying for Rugby World Cup Sevens. We acknowledge that Chile is a very good team at their peak and that Brazil has grown a lot; both countries have supported their sevens programme. But we have a good squad. We now have to prove ourselves on the field.”
Uruguay are joined by USA, France and Brazil in Pool B. South Africa, Germany, Chile and Paraguay make up Pool A, while Pool C consists of Canada, Argentina, Ireland and Colombia.
In line with the festive atmosphere of Punta del Este, the final is scheduled for a late Saturday evening kick-off.
For RWC Sevens 2018 ticket information click HERE