RWC Round 3: Italy vs. Uruguay match preview

RWC Round 3: Italy vs. Uruguay match preview

Six days after their heroic performance in Lille, when they pushed much-fancied France to the limit, Uruguay are back in action – this time against Italy in a match that has more than simply this Rugby World Cup on the line.

New Zealand and France remain firm favourites to qualify from Pool A – though there’s still a long way to go in the first phase of this year’s tournament and nothing is decided yet. But a third-place finish guarantees an automatic qualification spot for RWC 2027 in Australia. That’s a prize worth chasing.

Unsurprisingly, then, Uruguay coach Esteban Meneses has made only two changes to his starting 15 from the team that lost 27-12 to France in Lille, with German Kessler coming in at hooker, and Gaston Mieres – who has featured in the past two tournaments – onto the wing.

Italy’s opening 52-8 win over Namibia has put them in a strong position, and they have their sights on a possible, if unlikely, quarter-final push. They also know that very ambition means that they cannot take the rapidly improving South Americans anything less than completely seriously. 

FIXTURE: Italy v Uruguay

GROUND: Stade de Nice (35,983)

KICK-OFF: 17:45 local time (GMT+2)


These two sides are meeting for the first time at a Rugby World Cup.


Never mind Uruguay’s most recent performance against France, brilliant though it was. Four years ago, in Japan, a country which then had a grand total of 22 professional players beat a Fiji side featuring the likes of Leone Nakarawa, Semi Radradra, Vereniki Goneva and Levani Botia 30-27.


Angus Gardner (Australia). Gardner, who refereed South Africa’s 18-3 win over Scotland in Marseille in the opening block of games, picked up the whistle as a teenager after a back problem ended his playing career. 


ITALY Ange Capuozzo; Lorenzo Pani, Juan Ignacio Brex, Paolo Garbisi, Montanna Ioane; Tommaso Allan, Alessandro Garbisi; Danilo Fischetti, Giacomo Nicotera, Marco Riccioni; Niccolo Cannone, Federico Ruzza; Sebastian Negri, Michele Lamaro (captain), Lorenzo Cannone

Replacements: Luca Bigi, Federico Zani, Pietro Ceccarelli, Dino Lamb, Manuel Zuliani, Giovanni Pettinelli, Alessandro Fusco, Paolo Odogwu

URUGUAY Baltazar Amaya; Gaston Mieres, Tomas Inciarte, Andres Vilaseca (captain), Nicolas Freitas; Felipe Etcheverry, Santiago Arata; Mateo Sanguinetti, German Kessler, Ignacio Peculo; Felipe Aliaga, Manuel Leindekar; Manuel Ardao, Santiago Civetta, Manuel Diana

Replacements: Guillermo Pujadas, Facundo Gattas, Diego Arbelo, Ignacio Dotti, Carlos Deus, Agustin Ormaechea, Felipe Berchesi, Bautista Basso 

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