Brazil national rugby union team

The Brazil national rugby union team, nicknamed Tupis,[1] is controlled by the Brazilian Rugby Confederation. Brazil is one of the founding unions of CONSUR (now Sudamérica Rugby) and played in the inaugural South American tournament. Brazil has not qualified for a Rugby World Cup, but participated in the first edition of rugby 7s in the Olympics. Brazil currently ranks 4th in South America (behind Argentina, Uruguay and Chile) and 6th in the Americas region.

Brazil
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Tupis
EmblemTupí chief
UnionBrazilian Rugby Confederation
(Confederação Brasileira de Rugby)
Head coachUruguay Emiliano Caffera
CaptainFelipe Sancery
Top scorerJosh Reeves (156)
Top try scorerFelipe Sancery (11)
Home stadiumPacaembu Stadium
First colours
Second colours
World Rugby ranking
Current27 (as of 16 January 2023)
Highest24 (2019)
Lowest45 (2015)
First international
 Uruguay 8−6 Brazil 
(9 September 1950)
Biggest win
 Costa Rica 0−95 Brazil 
(10 October 2006)
Biggest defeat
 Argentina 114−3 Brazil 
(10 October 1992)
 Argentina 111−0 Brazil 
(5 May 2012)
World Cup
Appearances0
Websitewww.brasilrugby.com.br

Rugby union in Brazil has a long history, dating back to the late 19th century when British immigrants brought the game to Brazil's urban ports. Despite Brazil's success in association football, Brazil has historically been one of the weakest teams of the Americas, having less success than that of Argentina or Uruguay.

In the 21st century, efforts were made to revitalize the sport in Brazil. With rugby sevens being added to the Olympic calendar, Brazil was invited to the World Rugby Sevens Series, showing improvement in both the men's and women's series. In 2016, a meeting with the unions of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the United States and Uruguay established the Americas Rugby Championship, meant to mirror the Six Nations and The Rugby Championship, and give consistent tests to the top teams in the region. After 3 close games, two of which Brazil came close to victory, Brazil beat the USA Eagles, 24–23, their first victory in the championship, as well as over the United States and a Tier Two nation. Brazil later went to have its first victories over Belgium and Portugal, marking the first time the team beat any European side and, later, a historical win against Argentina XV. This latter game, along with two wins against Chile and Colombia, secured Brazil its first South American Rugby Championship title, in 2018.

History edit

Beginnings: 19th Century to 1949 edit

The very first instance of rugby being played in Brazil dates back to the late 19th century. British immigrants arriving in Brazil brought the game to various port cities in Brazil. These immigrants set up various athletic clubs which doubled with association football.[2] The first recorded instance of a rugby game being played in Brazil was 1891, played by the São Paulo Athletic Club, under the auspices of Charles William Miller. Future efforts to promote the game were then taken on by Augusto Shaw, after Miller began to devote himself exclusively to football.[3]

During the 1920s and 1930s, rugby began to flourish somewhat in Brazil, although it did not enjoy the widespread exposure as football. For the most part, rugby was primarily restricted to those who had British descent, or with some other connection to Britain. In 1926, a proper domestic competition was established.[4] By 1932, a national side had formed; Brazil played its first ever national game against South Africa XV, losing by an unknown margin. The sport suffered a setback when an attempt to get it recognized as a national sport was denied, since rugby was limited to only four states than the required five.[3] World War II suspended operations from 1941 to 1946, as was the case in many countries.

1950s to 1990s edit

Brazil participated in the first ever South American Rugby Championship, but lost all three of their fixtures. They were shut out 68 and 72 to zero against Chile and Argentina respectively, while Brazil played a closer game against Uruguay, losing 10 – 17. During the 1950s, organization of rugby in Brazil was sporadic; there was no official high governing union at the time, and the national side was only organized by Jimmy Macintyre, who ran the SPAC. Brazil would not play another test until 1961. The modern day Brazilian Rugby Confederation (CBRu) was founded in 1963, in order to govern the game more efficiently in the country. The first president of the CBRu was Harry Donovan.[5] In 1964, Brazil finished runner-up in the South American Rugby Championship, tying Chile 16–16 and defeating Uruguay 15–8.

In the 1970s the better structure of rugby allowed the game to be introduced to Brazilians outside of the British-descended community. Brazil experienced somewhat of an expansion in rugby; the game was introduced to universities throughout the country, and Brazil was becoming a destination for rugby tours. In 1974, Brazil played a test match against France, losing by a margin of 7–99.[5] For the rest of the decade Brazil played against its South American neighbors; Brazil frequently beat minnows Paraguay during this period.

In 1985, France toured Brazil again, but this time Brazil played much more valiantly, losing by a score of 6–41. Brazil is a charter member of CONSUR (now Sudámerica Rugby), founded in 1989. Despite this, Brazil did not officially join the IRB until 1995, and did not participate in qualifying tournaments until then. However, their first fixture in the qualifiers was a disaster; Brazil was humiliated by Trinidad and Tobago by a score of 41–0, swiftly ending their campaign.

2000s: the new century edit

Brazil began the 2000s with much more success. In 2000, Brazil easily won the 2000 edition of the SARC; they repeated this in 2001, topping the group of Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela. Brazil advanced to the next round of qualifying, disposing of Trinidad and Tobago; Brazil would go on to lose their final games, but Brazil was finally starting to close the gap. Throughout the 2000s, Brazil began winning more of its games, and in 2008, finally broke through; Brazil beat Paraguay to finally advance to the top flight of the SARC, their first time there since 1989. Brazil further repeated this by beating Paraguay again in 2009.

In 2012, the New York Times reported that rugby was Brazil's second fastest growing sport, behind MMA. This is partly due to World Rugby re-investing in Brazil due to the reinstatement of rugby in the 2016 Olympics.[6] Since then, Brazil has been invited to the World Rugby Sevens Series, allowing Brazil to improve against higher competition.

In 2014, Brazil recorded its first-ever victory over Chile, defeating the Condores 24 to 16. Since initiatives were taken in 2009, the character of rugby has changed in Brazil; the registration numbers have risen, and the sport has successfully formed sponsorships with companies such as Bradesco, many of whom see Brazilian rugby to be profitable in the future.[7]

In 2015, Brazil played two tests against the national team of Germany, one held in Pacaembu Stadium; these performances attracted 10,000 spectators, being one of the highest attendances for rugby in Brazil. Brazil's improved form showed in 2016 in the first edition of the Americas Rugby Championship, where Brazil was on the verge of historic victories against Chile and Uruguay, but could not hold on. After scoring 25 points in their first ever fixture versus Canada, Brazil went on to upset the United States 24–23 in Pacaembu; Brazil proceeded to finish off the tournament losing 7–41 to Argentina, scoring their first try against Argentina in decades.

For the 2016 South American Rugby Championship "A", RedeTV!, one of Brazil's major TV networks, will air Brazil's games live. Brazil played Uruguay at Allianz Parque in São Paulo, one of the largest stadiums to ever host a rugby game in Brazil. Brazil tied 20–20 against Chile, further signaling their rise to the top in South America. To cap off the tournament, Brazil beat Paraguay 32–21, finishing in third place only behind Chile on points difference.

Brazil improved in the 2017 edition of the ARC, beating Chile convincingly 17 to 3, before notching their first win in only their second meeting against Canada in Pacaembu, by the score of 24 to 23. After these victories, Brazil rose to 30th, their first time in the top 30 of the World Rugby Rankings since 2009. On November 18, 2017, Brazil won on European soil for the first time in history, defeating Belgium and Portugal, further showing their progress in the 2010s. Brazil's progress continued as they beat Chile on their home soil for the first time in history, and later in the year, in the reformed 2018 South American Rugby Championship, defeated Argentina XV, marking their first-ever victory over an Argentinean side. Brazil would go onto defeat Colombia and was crowned South American champions for the first time in their history.

Uniforms edit

Traditionally, the rugby team of Brazil has worn a strip of a yellow top and green shorts while the away strip consists of a green top and white shorts. The current provider of the kit is local based Topper. In 2015, the shorts were changed to blue, to be consistent with that of Brazil's football team; this included a presentation involving the Tupí tribe, whom the team is nicknamed after.[8] The current shirt sponsor of Brazil is Bradesco.

Nickname edit

For some time, Brazilian national rugby union side was unofficially associated with Walt Disney's character Zé Carioca. Sometime later, CBRu, still known as Associação Brasileira de Rugby, or simply ABR, chose Vitória Régia as its official emblem and nickname. However, this nickname was not adopted by fans.

In March 2012, CBRu announced Os Tupis as Brazil national rugby union team's official nickname,[1] a reference to Tupi people, the main ethnic group of Brazilian indigenous people. The choice for an emblem started in 2010, when CBRu started receiving e-mails with several suggestions. The three finalists were Tupis, Sucuris (Anacondas) and Araras (Macaws). Fans voted on an Internet poll and chose Tupis with 47% (4,387 votes) of preference. According to CBRu's former president (from 2012-2016), Sami Arap, "The choice ratified the roots of Brazilian people. Tupi represents the essence of our country, referring to [our] strength, perseverance, loyalty and team spirit".

Tournament records edit

Rugby World Cup edit

World Cup record World Cup Qualification record
Year Round Played Won Drew Lost Pts F Pts A P W D L F A
   1987 Not invited
    1991 did not enter did not enter
  1995
  1999 did not qualify 1 0 0 1 0 41
  2003 6 4 0 2 140 84
  2007 5 3 0 2 179 108
  2011 8 6 0 2 230 190
  2015 5 1 0 4 85 164
  2019 6 2 1 3 160 139
  2023 3 1 0 2 55 59
Total 0/9 31 16 1 13 849 785

Americas Rugby Championship edit

The Americas Rugby Championship was held in five of the seven years from 2009 to 2015, but Brazil did not participate. Brazil along with Chile has participated in an expanded six-country Americas Rugby Championship in 2016. In the 2016 ARC, 42nd ranked Brazil defeated the 16th ranked United States 24–23, their first win against the United States.

Tourney Record Pts Diff Position Wins
2016 1–4 −68 5th United States (24–23)
2017 2–3 −116 4th Chile (17–3); Canada (24–23)
2018 1–4 −96 5th Chile (16–14)
2019 2–3 −65 4th Chile (15–10); Canada (18–10)

South American Championship edit

Tourney Host Record Pts Diff Position Wins Draws Losses
2009   Uruguay 1–2 −129 4th Paraguay (36–21) Uruguay (3–71), Chile (3–79)
2010   Chile 1–2 −34 4th Paraguay (23–18) Uruguay (10–26), Chile (8–31)
2011   Argentina 1–2 −3 4th Paraguay (51–14) Uruguay (18–39), Chile (6–25)
2012   Chile 0–3 −136 4th Uruguay (15–27), Chile (6–19), Argentina (0–111)
2013   Uruguay 0–3 −150 4th Chile (22–38), Uruguay (7–58), Argentina (0–83)
2014 (four countries) 1–2 −24 3rd Chile (24–16) Paraguay (24–31), Uruguay (9–34)
2015 (four countries) 0–3 −77 4th Uruguay (9–48), Chile (3–32), Paraguay (11–17)
2016 (four countries) 1–1–1 −11 3rd Paraguay (32–21) Chile (20–20) Uruguay (14–36)
2017 (four countries) 1–2 +32 3rd Paraguay (57–6) Uruguay (27–41), Chile (10–15)
2018 (Six Nations) 3–0 +81 1st Chile (28–12), Argentina XV (36-33), Colombia (67-5)

Overall record edit

Below is table of the representative rugby matches played by a Brazil national XV at test level up until 18 November 2023.[9]

Top 30 as of 20 May 2024[10]
Rank Change* Team Points
1     South Africa 094.54
2     Ireland 090.69
3     New Zealand 089.80
4     France 087.92
5     England 085.75
6     Scotland 082.82
7     Argentina 080.68
8     Italy 079.41
9     Australia 077.48
10     Wales 077.26
11     Fiji 076.38
12     Japan 074.27
13     Georgia 074.02
14     Samoa 072.23
15     Tonga 071.57
16     Portugal 070.28
17     United States 067.94
18     Uruguay 067.39
19     Spain 064.37
20     Romania 061.66
21     Canada 060.90
22     Namibia 060.56
23     Chile 060.49
24     Hong Kong 059.80
25     Russia 058.06
26      Switzerland 057.44
27     Netherlands 057.29
28     Belgium 055.89
29     Brazil 055.37
30     Korea 053.46
* Change from the previous week
Brazil's historical rankings
See or edit source data.
Source: World Rugby[10]
Graph updated to 20 May 2024
Opponent Played Won Lost Drawn Win % For Aga Diff
  Argentina 14 0 14 0 0.00% 54 1096 –1042
  Argentina XV 5 1 4 0 20% 69 234 –165
 Barbarians 1 0 1 0 0.00% 22 47 −25
  Belgium 1 1 0 0 100% 23 19 +4
  Canada 6 3 3 0 50% 105 180 –75
  Chile 31 5 24 2 16.13% 388 970 –582
  Colombia 10 10 0 0 100% 491 47 +434
  Costa Rica 1 1 0 0 100% 95 0 +95
  France A 2 0 2 0 0.00% 13 140 –127
  Georgia XV 1 1 0 0 100% 20 18 +2
  Germany 5 0 5 0 0.00% 51 157 –106
  Hong Kong 1 0 1 0 0.00% 3 37 –34
  Kenya 2 0 2 0 0.00% 42 45 –3
  Māori All Blacks 1 0 1 0 0.00% 3 35 –32
  Mexico 2 2 0 0 100% 126 19 +107
  Oxford and Cambridge 2 0 2 0 0.00% 13 102 −89
  Paraguay 26 15 11 0 57.69% 598 514 +84
  Peru 9 9 0 0 100% 404 58 +346
  Portugal 5 1 4 0 20% 65 173 –108
  Romania 3 0 3 0 0.00% 47 100 –53
  Spain 2 0 2 0 0.00% 24 89 –65
  Trinidad and Tobago 5 4 1 0 80% 75 71 +4
  United Arab Emirates 1 1 0 0 100% 66 3 +63
  United States 6 1 5 0 16.67% 102 221 –119
  USA Selects 1 1 0 0 100% 33 20 +13
  Uruguay 30 3 27 0 10% 318 1053 –735
  Uruguay A 1 0 1 0 0.00% 12 28 –16
  Venezuela 9 8 1 0 88.89% 258 95 +163
  Zimbabwe 2 0 1 1 0% 44 48 –24
Total 185 67 115 3 36.22% 3200 5629 –2429

Current squad edit

Brazil's 26-man squad up for the World Rugby test matches against Zimbabwe and Namibia or Zimbabwe.[11]

Head Coach:   Fernando Portugal

  • Caps updated: 15 November 2021

Note: Flags indicate national union for the club/province as defined by World Rugby.

Player Position Date of birth (age) Matches Played Club/province
Leonardo de Souza Hooker (1999-02-07) 7 February 1999 (age 25) 4   Cobras
Endy Willian Hooker (1995-05-26) 26 May 1995 (age 28) 8   Cobras
Lucas Abud Prop (1993-08-26) 26 August 1993 (age 30) 45   Cobras
Alexandre Alves Prop (1996-06-23) 23 June 1996 (age 27) 7   Cobras
Henrique Ferreira Prop (1999-12-10) 10 December 1999 (age 24) 1   Pasteur
Joel Ramírez Prop (1998-11-28) 28 November 1998 (age 25) 0   Cobras
Matheus Rocha Prop (1997-04-23) 23 April 1997 (age 27) 17   CDUL
Caíque Silva Prop (1993-11-21) 21 November 1993 (age 30) 29   Saint-Denis
Cléber Dias Lock (1995-07-03) 3 July 1995 (age 28) 37   Técnico
Kauã Guimarães Lock (1998-03-29) 29 March 1998 (age 26) 1   Pasteur
Gabriel Paganini Lock (2000-07-24) 24 July 2000 (age 23) 1   Villefranche
André Arruda Back row (1989-01-09) 9 January 1989 (age 35) 36   Cobras
Arthur Bergo Back row (1994-03-07) 7 March 1994 (age 30) 29   Cobras
Matheus Cláudio Back row (1998-06-08) 8 June 1998 (age 25) 9   Cobras
Adrio de Melo Back row (2001-03-21) 21 March 2001 (age 23) 7   Cobras
Devon Müller Back row (1998-10-12) 12 October 1998 (age 25) 1   Pasteur
Felipe Cunha Scrum-half (1999-12-01) 1 December 1999 (age 24) 8   Cobras
Douglas Rauth Scrum-half (1997-03-25) 25 March 1997 (age 27) 8   Cobras
Lucas Spago Fly-half (2000-05-19) 19 May 2000 (age 24) 6   Cobras
Gabriel Quirino Centre (1999-06-07) 7 June 1999 (age 24) 1   Cobras
De Wet van Niekerk Centre (1994-05-25) 25 May 1994 (age 29) 21   Poli
Daniel Lima Wing (1998-01-01) 1 January 1998 (age 26) 12   Cobras
Robert Tenório Wing (1996-07-27) 27 July 1996 (age 27) 22   Cobras
Robson Morais Fullback (1998-02-02) 2 February 1998 (age 26) 0   Pasteur
Lucas Tranquez Fullback (1994-03-12) 12 March 1994 (age 30) 41   Cobras

Titles edit

Notable players edit

  • In 2011 Lucas "Tanque" Duque and his brother Moisés Duque were given trials with professional teams in France.[12]
  • Since 2015 Luiz Vieira has been playing for the second team of the TOP14 team Oyonnax.

Media coverage edit

Before 2016, most of Brazil's games were aired through SporTV, a paid television network. In 2016, changes were made to Brazil's broadcasting; more commonly available RedeTV! would air games involving the South American Rugby Championship, while ESPN Brasil holds the rights to the Americas Rugby Championship.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Tupi is the new emblem of Brazil National Team=BrasilRugby.com – In Portuguese". Archived from the original on 2014-11-29. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  2. ^ Edições Leia, 1950.
  3. ^ a b Bath, Richard (ed.). The Complete Book of Rugby. p. 64. Seven Oaks Ltd, 1997. ISBN 9781862000131.
  4. ^ Niterói Rugby Archived 2011-08-24 at the Wayback Machine História do Rugby Brasileiro. Acessado em 8/2/2012.
  5. ^ a b "History of Rugby (in Portuguese)". Portal do Rugby. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  6. ^ Stoney, Emma (5 October 2012). "Soccer-Crazy Brazil Opening Its Arms to Rugby". New York Times. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  7. ^ Panja, Tariq (7 January 2015). "Brazil Soccer Debacle Boosts Rugby Before Olympic Return". Bloomberg. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  8. ^ A nova camisa dos Tupis! (YouTube). Confederação Brasileira de Rugby. February 3, 2016.
  9. ^ Brazil rugby statistics
  10. ^ a b "Men's World Rankings". World Rugby. Retrieved 20 May 2024.
  11. ^ Brazil sends 26 players to Stellenbosch Series
  12. ^ "Duque brothers to have trial for teams in France". 16 December 2011.

External links edit