The Condores have made a record by qualifying for their first-ever World Cup, but how did they get to this goal? A blessing in disguise. That’s what losing the ending of the Superliga Americana de Rugby, South America’s six-team expert league, has shown to be for Chilean rugby. The expert side of Selknam helped to fine-tune things ahead of their series against the USA, which Chile won to qualify for the France Rugby World Cup 2023 for the first time.
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SLAR attested to be a great springboard for the two-legged Americas Two play-off. They beat the Argentine team and last year’s winners, Jaguares XV, three times and, while no one wants to fail, the 24-13 downfall by Uruguayan franchise Penarol in the last indeed removed any satisfaction or sense of achievement, focusing the side on what lay ahead.
Martin Sigren, an important player in the Selknam side and Chile rugby team captain, tells the media, it was an unpleasant lesson but it helps us push hard and be tougher. We know our strong points and flaws. It is up to us. A few weeks on from that SLAR downfall, Sigren was delivering an expressive post-match talk after his Chile Rugby World Cup side had booked a spot at France 2023.
It means so much, he said after the win over the Eagles in Denver. The expenses this group has done, there were lots of instants when it felt uphill, where we kept unloading nothing in return. We kept pushing and finally we get the big prize. For all my Chilean people, I hope this is a sample that when people get together when a group is sentenced to doing something plays with belief, impossible things can be attained.
The Chile Rugby World Cup team head coach
Selknam’s campaign was a vital testing ground for Chile rugby team head coach Pablo Lemoine. Although not openly involved with Selknam during SLAR, one of his supporters former Argentina international Nicolas Bruzzone led the team, Lemoine has been the behind-the-scenes mind. Lemoine formerly tortured the nation he has trained since late 2018, both as a player and trainer for Uruguay.
Uruguay always desired to beat Chile to advance to competitions in Rugby World Cups, World Rugby U20 trophies, and other global events. It was either them or us, recalls Lemoine. In almost two-and-a-half eras of participation with Uruguayan rugby, he lost against Chile once as a player in 2002, once as an associate coach in 2011 and a third time in the build-up to the 2015 RWC. Every one of those damages hurt, he says.
Seeing him fly west and cross the Andes was exciting. Tormentor to guide within a two-hour flight. Lemoine had been positive with Uruguayan rugby, setting up their high-performance plan and directing them to RWC 2015 after winning 48 caps at the prop from 1995 to 2010. Now he has done the same with Chile’s national rugby union team. Rugby fans can book Chile Rugby World Cup Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.
The high-performance plan for France Rugby World Cup 2023
Cristian Rudloff, an ex-international referee and current Chile federation chairman, had just taken over running the game in his nation when Lemoine was appointed. He says, I felt, in 2018-19, that Chile had one last chance to embrace high performance; we’d had our gambles but not taken them. For years, rugby was a game for the top in Chile but the pledge was not always there, teams were full of promise but would normally underperform.
When I arrived, things had to alter if we did not want to lose the train, explains Rudloff, famous to all as ‘Lulo’. “Things have now different thanks to players’ desires, players that were developed in amateur rugby and were pushing for changes. Chile had seen some level of the high act with their sevens team, challenging against the best but frequently failing to break into the World Sevens Series. Things stepped up with Lemoine’s entrance in September 2018.
He announced two-hour training sessions at 6 am one on weights and one on the field for a large group of performers to do before their regular workday; players had to put the game in a new place in their life. Over the next ten months, the vast squad was slowly reduced, depending on players’ promise and ability, as Lemoine enhanced in on those he needed moving forward.
Selknam helps make players mature
When Selknam was born in 2020, players became experts and ‘normal’ hours were brought in. From being a fresh team with the need to progress talent, they became more mature and committed compare. Expert flanker Ignacio Silva is one of those players who has put his full weight behind the new vision. Pablo altered Chilean rugby, how we see things, our dream, our ambition, and we contained high performance, says Silva.
He worked on the players’ promise those who joined the training plan were those who wanted to be there. We perhaps were not the best physically or technically but we were starving. You have the Saavedra twins Clemente and Domingo, the Garafulics. I am in detail the oldest by a space, and then comes Martin Sigren, the captain who is in his mid-twenties. Now they will be signifying their nation at France Rugby World Cup 2023.
Former Japan RWC player Toshiro Yoshino is still energetic and driven at 62
Playing alongside co-players four decades younger than himself, 62-year-old ex-Japan rugby global Toshiro Yoshino shows the will and passion to defy ageing. Part of the Japan team for the first Rugby World Cup in 1987 in New Zealand and Australia, Yoshino ran out to the good pitch for the first time in years last October for Tokyo-based Waseda Club in the sixth-tier Top East League Group C. Rugby fans can book Japan Rugby World Cup Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.
I can give me all as I love it like mad. I want to carry on as long as my body travels, said Yoshino, who played for Suntory, now Tokyo Sungoliath, until he was 38. His time at the club was up when the company moved him to Osaka in 1999, but Yoshino asked journalists not to use the word retirement. After a spell at a club opposing locally in the Kansai region of western Japan, he joined Waseda Club upon his arrival to Tokyo.
While his minutes on the field reduced as he entered his 40s and 50s, the idea of hanging up his boots never came across. It’s fun just being with your friends. I’ve not for once thought about leaving, said Yoshino, who made his comeback arrival with the team’s number of players on the wane. Coming on late as an extra wing, the 176-centimetre, 68-kilogram Yoshino made attacks heroically, despite the major age gap between himself and other players.
During a match the following month, he showed he still has the skill. Working out in the gym for an hour six days a week on top of the weekly team training, Yoshino says keeping himself right is his norm, like brushing his teeth. The expert took inspiration from seeing Japanese football icon Kazuyoshi Miura making headlines for moving to Oliveirense in the Portuguese second tier as a 56-year-old in early February while admitting the difference between being an expert and an amateur.
I think Kazu-san likes the game, like myself, said Yoshino, seeing the positive side in carrying on as an inexpert. Professionals have deals, while I can continue as long as I don’t give up, he said. Yoshino, whose owing physique was recently marked across an entire magazine page, still has a burning wish to continue improving as a rugby performer. I want to be a little bit better at it tomorrow. Rugby’s playing style is altering every day, he said.
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