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Chile are an unknown entity. The Condors have soared onto the scene against all expectations to make their World Cup debut. Chile are a team with nine lives. During the qualification stages they narrowly lost to Canada 22-21 but came back in the return leg to beat the Canadians 33-24. Chile then had to face the US. They narrowly lost again 21-22, this time at home with a consolation score in the 80th minute. They looked down and out. However, the Condors then managed a remarkable victory on the return leg in the US where they beat the US Eagles 29-31. Chile were heading to the World Cup against the odds!
The rocky Andes don't make for typical rugby playing conditions. Yet, there is a rugby revolution ongoing in South America right now. This has been aided by a new club tournament called Super Rugby Americas which includes Selknam, the Chilean side that includes most of Chile's internationals. This is providing regular game time and competition against other South American nations, particularly their counterparts in Uruguay who are also enjoying a golden age.
Chile are guided by former Uruguayan Head Coach, Pablo Lemoine. Lemoine steered Uruguay back to the World Cup in 2015 after a two tournament hiatus from the competition. He has now taken Chile to their tournament debut and will be hoping to replicate his success. One of the most pivotal players is his fly half, Rodrigo Fernandez. The number 10 scored a scintillating try against the USA during the World Cup qualification process where he beat 8 defenders over 80 metres. The moment was named Try of the Year by World Rugby in 2022. Whilst the hopes for Chile are low, they'll relish going up against Argentina at the World Cup. The competition will be an excellent shop window for players to show what they can do. Take Uruguay's Santiago Arata. In 2019, he scrambled his way through the Fijian defence and under the posts to contribute towards one of the World Cup's greatest upsets. Arata was snapped up by Castres a year later and went onto finish runners up in the Top 14 in 2022. Will a Chilean be the next South American star to be discovered at this World Cup?
World Cup Titles
Best RWC Finish
World Rugby Ranking
(as of 27th August)
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