Esteban Meneses has been appointed as head coach of the Uruguay national team following a restructure of the union’s high performance department.
Argentine-born Meneses played and coached La Plata in his homeland and also had a spell in charge of the Buenos Aires-based CUBA club. He comes highly recommended, among others, by Los Pumas head coach Daniel Hourcade, who was present when the new coached was unveiled in Montevideo.
Meneses will be assisted by Guzmán Barreiro, who has experience of coaching Uruguay’s A team and the under 20s, and recently retired hooker Oscar Durán. Durán hung up his boots after Uruguay’s final Pool A game against England at RWC 2015, after a 14-year international career that saw him win 35 caps.
Experienced fitness coach Guillermo Selves is also part of the new-look coaching team and the management staff will be completed by Santiago Slinger and Fabián Stipo.
“We are delighted to have Esteban on board,” said recently re-elected Uruguay Rugby Union chairman Sebastían Piñeyrúa, himself a former national coach. “We must thank UAR president Carlos Araujo, World Rugby council member Agustín Pichot and Pumas coach Daniel Hourcade as they have been working with us over the last few weeks to help us find our new head coach.”
After three years in charge of the Uruguayan national team, including at this year’s Rugby World Cup, Los Teros legend Lemoine moves upstairs to become the new director of Uruguay’s high performance centre.
Lemoine will oversee the development of players from under 17s onwards and will continue to assist when needed with coaching duties.
Speaking about his apppointment, Meneses said: “It is a huge challenge and responsibility to be leading a national team. The goal is to grow as a team and work on individual skills that will allow us to play better rugby.
“Knowing that we will have the support of the Pumas staff was important in my decision and I plan to be in permanent contact with them. Los Teros have great potential and the fact the Uruguayan and Argentine rugby unions are working together is encouraging.”
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