With a place in World Rugby’s new WXV 3 tournament to be played in Dubai later this year, Medellín will see home side Colombia aiming to confirm their regional superiority in 15s against the Brazilian Yaras.
The team with the highest aggregate score across the two matches on Wednesday and Sunday will qualify. Both matches are being played at the Estadio Cincuentenario and will be shown live on Sudamérica Rugby’s YouTube Channel. Kick-off is 15:00 (local time).
Colombia have won all four previous meetings, including the one in 2020 that allowed Las Tucanes to continue on the road to Rugby World Cup 2021.
Colombia beat Kenya in Nairobi and then Kazakhstan in the Final Qualification Tournament in Dubai before falling to Scotland at the final hurdle, who qualified for the record-breaking tournament at their expense.
“This series is a priority for the Federación Colombiana de Rugby, something that has been our goal for the whole year,” said head coach Lisette Martínez.
“We have searched for talent throughout the country, had training camps every month working on the physical and technical aspects for players, aiming to have a stronger squad.
“Qualifying is very important as it would give us the opportunity to test ourselves against stronger opposition and continue on our pathway to qualifying for Rugby World Cup 2025.”
Both teams met last month in a non-cap match in Brazil as they competed with the USA in the Americas Rugby Trophy, with the Colombians narrowly winning 18-15.
“It will be one of the biggest games in our history. We have yet to beat Colombia, but we were close in the Americas Rugby Trophy,” said AK Southey, the Brazil coach.
“We will not only be playing for the team but for all the girls in Brazil. It is important for us to feel their support."
As with Las Tucanes, Brazil have prepared thoroughly with a number of training camps to determine the squad that has finally travelled to Medellín.
“The work done was very hard and we know we have what it takes to guarantee our place in WXV," added Southey.
Photo: @pupila_agencia_creativa / @chavelarf2000