Uruguay will play in their seventh consecutive World Rugby U20 Trophy and 10th in total after a 38-13 victory over Chile in the Sudamerica U20s confirmed their place in the line-up for the tournament in São José dos Campos in Brazil from 9-21 July.
With the win, Uruguay advance to face Argentina in the Sudamerica U20s final on Saturday. Los Pumitas, who are preparing for the World Rugby U20 Championship on home soil in June, were 90-5 winners over Brazil in the earlier fixture on Wednesday.
Los Teritos, the inaugural U20 Trophy winners in 2008, did not have it all their own way against Chile and conceded the first points when full-back Tomás Salas crossed in the 13th minute and converted his own try from the left-hand touchline.
Slowly but surely, through the hard work of the forwards, Los Teritos began to win the contact area and get over the gain-line. Loose-head prop Ezequiel Ramos muscled his way over for the first of his two tries and Matías D'Avanzo converted to make it 7-7.
Salas and D'Avanzo exchanged penalties and there was nothing between the teams until Chile lost Iñaki Ayarza to a yellow card in the 23rd minute, Los Teritos taking advantage to score 14 unanswered points during his absence. Ramos crossed again before Juan Pablo Costábile added another, D'Avanzo converting both tries for a 24-10 lead.
Salas pulled three points back with his second penalty three minutes before the break but Chile were scoreless in the second half with Uruguay making sure of victory thanks to converted tries from blindside flanker Maxime Sonneveld and captain and tight-head Juan Garese.
"It is an important win that validates the good work done in the past few months," said Mario Lamé, Los Teritos' jubilant coach after the win in Montevideo.
"The players showed maturity to take their time to find the keys to the game."
In the first game of the day, played in bright sunshine in the first half and rain in the second, eight different players scored as Los Pumitas racked up 15 tries in total against a Brazilian side that was well beaten in every department.
Number eight and captain Juan Martín González and left-wing Rodrigo Isgró touched down three times each, while centre Tomás Acosta Pimentel and wing Marcos Moneta both doubles. Fly-half Nicolás Roger, like Moneta and González a Youth Olympic Games sevens gold medallist last October, converted eight kicks at goal before being replaced.
Uruguay are the fifth nation to confirm their place in the U20 Trophy for 2019. They join hosts Brazil, Asian qualifiers Hong Kong, Oceania qualifiers Tonga and Japan, the side relegated from the World Rugby U20 Championship in 2018. The remaining three places will be filled by a qualifier from Europe, Africa and North America.