Although rugby is not the national sport in Uruguay, which has 1,000 to 1,500 adult members for 3 million inhabitants, the national team will participate in its 5th World Cup. The nickname of the Uruguayan XV is “Los Teros”, named after the tero lapwing – their totem animal –, a courageous and aggressive bird which embodies the tenacity and fighting spirit of this team.
Since 2016, Uruguayans have participated in the Americas Rugby Championship, the tournament bringing together the six best national teams from the American continent, modeled on the European Six Nations. Only Argentina is represented by its reserve team (the Jaguares) in order to balance the competition. During the first edition, they only finished fourth. Thanks to the development of rugby in the country and the start of the professionalization of the sport, they finished vice-champions of the tournament in 2019.
In 2019, Uruguay achieved their best ever position in the World Rugby rankings and qualified for the 2019 World Cup against the United States. The selection achieved the feat against Fiji during the group stage. Since then, rugby in Uruguay has become professionalized, with the creation of a club within the prestigious Penarol multi-sports structure in Montevideo. It plays in Super Rugby Americas, a competition created in 2019 and bringing together the best professional teams in America.
For its first full season, the team won 7 of its 10 matches and lost in the final to the Argentines. It will win the title in 2022. This club gave a boost to the development of rugby in Uruguay and had a direct effect on the good results of the national team. Indeed, the club provided almost the entire team participating in the 2023 World Cup in France.
Several Uruguayan players playing in French championships will be able to bring experience during the competition. Notably the hinge with the rocket Santiago Arata, scrum half and best player of the team. He is often compared to Antoine Dupont because of his position, his impressive speed and his ability to slip between opposing defenders. He currently plays for Castres Olympique.
Uruguay can also count on flyhalf Felipe Berchesi, in France since 2014, where he played notably for Chambéry, Carcassonne and now Dax. He is one of the team's major assets with his precious foot.