Rugby union in Uruguay

Rugby union in Uruguay

Rugby union is considered one of most popular sports in Uruguay. The national team, commonly known as the "Los Teros", have been playing international rugby since the late 1940s and have made appearances in two world cups once in 1999 and again in 2003.


Rugby union has been played in Uruguay since the 1940s. Their rugby union international debut came in 1948, where they played a friendly match against Chile, which they eventually lost 21-3. Following their respectable debut match, their next game came in 1951 after the formation of the sports new governing body in Uruguay the Unión de Rugby del Uruguay. The team played against a vastly more experienced Argentina team. Again Uruguay were defeated this time by a huge margin of sixty points. Following these matches Uruguay did not have a solid international calendar, so their next international match would be five years later, against Chile.

The 1970s saw a much better period for rugby union in Uruguay in comparison to previous deacades with an increase in player numbers. The national team started off with a win over Paraguay in 1971, which was followed by a win and loss against Chile and a win against Brazil. However, they were beaten by Argentina by 55 points on two occasions in the early 1970s. However, they won all their matches except for those against Argentina. This saw a huge rise in the games profile.

The year 1989 saw rugby unions governing body in Uruguay, the Unión de Rugby del Uruguay, officially join the International Rugby Board (IRB) this saw increased international competition. The 1990s started off in an optimistic fashion, with three straight defeats of Chile, Brazil and Paraguay. This was followed by more wins over their traditional opponents, though Uruguay still lost to South America's powerhouse Argentina. Uruguays biggest success was qualifying for the 1999 Rugby World Cup in Wales. They only won one game in the pool stages, against a weak Spanish side, Uruguay finished third in their pool, not qualifying for the knockout stages. Despite this rugby unions profile soared and is considered the third most popular sport, after football and basketball.

Governing body

The Unión de Rugby del Uruguay is the governing body for rugby union in Uruguay. The organisation was founded in 1951 and became an official affiliate of the International Rugby Board (IRB) in 1989.

National team

The Uruguay national rugby union team, more commonly known as the "Los Teros" (Southern Lapwing), represent Uruguay at international level. The team is governed by the Unión de Rugby del Uruguay and are the second highest ranked team in South America after Argentina at 18th in the world. Crowds of about 11,000 usually attend international fixtures.


Rugby union is a popular recreational sport in Uruguay. Football (soccer) is undoubtedly the most popular sport in Uruguay. Basketball ranks second in popularity and rugby union is considered the third most popular sport. The popularity of rugby union virtually took off after the national side qualified for the 1999 Rugby World Cup and the subsequent 2003 World Cup, this saw a renewed interest in the sport and broad media coverage of the game.

See also

*Uruguay national rugby union team
*Unión de Rugby del Uruguay
*Sports in Uruguay

External links

* [ Unión de Rugby del Uruguay] - Official Site
* [ Uruguay] -

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