Uruguay have retained the World Rugby Nations Cup in Montevideo, beating Argentina XV 28-15 to secure their third consecutive title, and take a huge step forward in their Rugby World Cup 2019 preparations.
Showing a resilience that will come in very handy later in the year when they face the likes of Australia, Wales, Georgia and Fiji in Group D at the Rugby World Cup in Japan, Uruguay held off Argentina XV, coming out victorious in the must-win game on the tournament’s third and final match day.
With strong defence and making the most of the few opportunities they had in difficult conditions, Los Teros were deserving winners in a game that was all but a final.
Uruguayan coach Esteban Meneses said: “Finals are there to be won and putting our opponents under so much pressure was the key to winning. Argentina XV are a very good side, they won the Americas Rugby Championship, with good players, but I have to congratulate my team for their commitment.”
In the day’s other match Russia, who had defeated the Argentines in the previous round, and who were also in line to win the Nations Cup if Uruguay did not prevail, defeated Namibia 20-0.
All four teams now turn their attention to Rugby World Cup 2019 later in the year.
The Nations Cup is a key World Rugby high performance tournament that has provided participating teams with an important competition platform ahead of their upcoming appearance at Rugby World Cup 2019, which kicks off in Japan on 20 September.
The hosting of the tournament in Uruguay also reinforces World Rugby’s commitment to developing rugby in the Americas, one of the world’s fastest-growing regions in both terms of participation and fan engagement.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “The Nations Cup has been a fantastic tournament with some exceptional talent on display and I would like to congratulate hosts Uruguay on their third consecutive Nations Cup victory and for their excellent staging of the tournament.
“World Rugby invests significantly in high performance programmes for emerging nations and high-quality competitions such as the Nations Cup with the objective of achieving the most competitive Rugby World Cup ever at Japan 2019. This tournament has been an important stepping stone for all teams as they hone their preparations ahead of the first Rugby World Cup in Asia.”