Chile national rugby union team

The Chilean national rugby union team (Spanish: Selección de rugby de Chile) represents the Chilean Rugby Federation (Spanish: Federación Chilena de Rugby) in men's international rugby union. Nicknamed Los Cóndores (The Condors in English), they play in red and white jerseys. They are currently ranked 22nd in the World Rugby Rankings, making them the third highest-ranked nation in South America.

Chile
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Los Cóndores (The Condors)
EmblemAndean condor
UnionChilean Rugby Federation
Head coachPablo Lemoine
CaptainMartín Sigren
Most capsCristian Onetto (43)
Top scorerCristian González (221)
Top try scorerJosé Larenas (11)
Home stadiumEstadio Santa Laura
First colours
Second colours
World Rugby ranking
Current22 (as of 28 August 2023)
Highest21 (2022)
Lowest31 (2018)
First international
 Chile 0–29 Argentina 
(Valparaíso, Chile; 20 September 1936)
Biggest win
 Chile 102–0 Paraguay 
(Montevideo, Uruguay; 3 May 2003)
Biggest defeat
 Argentina 89–6 Chile 
(Montevideo, Uruguay; 20 May 2009)
World Cup
Appearances1 (First in 2023)
Best resultPool stage (2023)
Websitechile.rugby

Chile was the second South American nation after Argentina to play international rugby union, playing their first international test against Argentina in 1936 in Santiago. Chile is one of the founding members of CONSUR (now known as Sudamérica Rugby) in 1989, alongside Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Chile has long been participating in the South American Rugby Championship since 1951 and has consistently been the third or even the second best team in South America. In 2016, Chile, alongside the unions of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, the United States, and Uruguay, formed the Americas Rugby Championship, aimed at increasing the standard of rugby union in the Americas region.

Chile qualified for the 2023 Rugby World Cup, which will be their first appearance in the tournament; they upset Canada in a two-game series in October 2021, before defeating the United States in a two-game home-and-home series on aggregate by 1 point in July 2022. Chile were drawn with England, Japan, Argentina, and Samoa in Pool D of the World Cup.

The sport has historic connections to the Scottish community in the country. In 2012, two Scottish-Chilean players, Donald and Ian Campbell, were inducted into the IRB (now World Rugby) Hall of Fame.

History

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Early history (1890s – 1959)

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Rugby was introduced in Chile roughly around the late 19th century, as it was in other parts of South America by British immigrants who arrived in ports.[1] The first recorded rugby game taking place on Chilean soil was in 1894, from British immigrants who lived in both Santiago, Iquique and Valparaíso. Until the 1930s, the game was initially mostly played by the British-descended community of Chile.[2] In 1935, the Chilean Rugby Federation was founded.

Chile's first ever fixtures were against Argentina in September 1936, a two-game series played in the capital Santiago. Chile lost both of their games by scorelines of 0 to 20 and 3 to 31, respectively. Chile would visit Argentina in 1938 in Buenos Aires, losing 3 to 33. Chile would not play another fixture until 1948, where they beat Uruguay 21 to 3 in Buenos Aires.

 
Chilean condor is the main representative of the team.

The Chilean team began competing more consistently in the 1950s. In 1951, Chile played the first South American Rugby Championship against Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina in 1951; Chile finished third, beating Brazil by a margin of 68 to nil, but losing to both Uruguay and Argentina. In 1952, Chile received Ireland on tour, but lost in Santiago 30 to 0. Chile would play another Five Nations side, this time France on tour, but lost 34–3. In 1958, Chile participated in the second South American Rugby Championship, finishing second; Chile easily beat both Peru and Uruguay before falling to Argentina, finishing second.

1960s – 1980s

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By the 1960s Chile saw itself established as a middle contender in South America. Chile were consistently beating sides like Brazil and Uruguay, but couldn't breakthrough against the mighty Argentina. In 1966, Chile received the Springboks, their first test against a SANZAR side, but lost 72 to 0. During the 1970s Chile didn't play any non-South American competition; for the most part Chile were finishing second or third in South America, usually beating Brazil and newcomers Paraguay, and dog fighting for second against Uruguay. In the 1980s, former coach of France Jean-Pierre Juanchich took over administration of rugby in Chile, which led to better promotion, awareness, and improvement in Chilean rugby. In 1989, a proper governing body for rugby in South America, CONSUR, was formed.

1990s – 2000s

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Chile formally joined the International Rugby Board in 1991, allowing Chile to participate formally in World Cup competitions. In 1993, Chile participated in its first ever World Cup Qualifying competition in 1993, entering qualifying for the 1995 Rugby World Cup; however, they lost all their fixtures to Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay, finishing bottom of the group. In 1995, Chile played Spain, winning 28 – 23.

The 1999 Rugby World Cup qualifying campaign was more successful. Chile easily swept through a group containing the teams of Bermuda and Trinidad and Tobago. However, Chile lost 14 to 20 against Uruguay, therefore missing out on a repechage spot, and potentially a spot in the World Cup.

In 2000, Chile came within 2 points of defeating Argentina. This improved form would continue through the early 2000s, easily disposing of Brazil in their first qualifier for the 2003 Rugby World Cup. In the final round, a round robin containing Canada, Uruguay, and the United States, the Chileans won their first home fixture versus Uruguay before losing their next two to the US and Canada. Despite this, Chile recorded an upset, defeating the United States 21 to 13 in Santiago. Despite being improved, Chile dropped their next two games, finishing the campaign with 2 wins and 4 losses. Unfortunately for Chile, they finished bottom on try difference, yet again missing out on a repechage spot, and potential qualification.

Chile then took part at an Intercontinental Cup at home in Santiago in November 2004. Where they recorded arguably one their greatest victories at the time, defeating an up and coming Georgia side 30-24.

 
Chile away jersey during 2007 Rugby World Cup qualifiers.

The 2007 qualifiers were mostly the same song as the previous campaigns; Chile swept their first round against Paraguay and Brazil but in the final group lost both their games to Argentina and Uruguay, which once again would have secured a repechage at least, and potentially an automatic spot in the World Cup.

The 2011 campaign was short-lived, having automatically been seeded into Round 3A of the qualifiers in the new format. Chile cruised to victory versus Brazil but once again lost to familiar foes Uruguay, and once again missing out on a potential repechage or automatic qualifier.

2010–present

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In 2010, Chile nearly started the new decade with a bang, coming very close to defeating Oceania powerhouse Tonga, but losing 32–30. The following year in 2011, Chile beat Uruguay for the first time in nine years, winning 21–18 and finishing second in the South American Championship.

The decade has been marked by inconsistency in results. In 2013, Chile began their qualifying campaign, opening up with a victory versus Brazil, but yet again lost to foes Uruguay, following the same pattern of results since the 1999 campaign. In 2014, Chile reached a bottom point; in the 2014 South American Championship, they finished bottom of the group, losing to Brazil for the first time in their history. Chile were also wooden spooners in the 2014 CONSUR Cup, the new competition featuring Argentina and the top 2 sides in South America. However, the following year, Chile won the South American Championship for the first time in their history, cruising through both Brazil and Paraguay before defeating Uruguay at home 30–15.

In 2016, Chile participated in the first Americas Rugby Championship in its current format. Chile squeaked a home win versus Brazil, before playing a close game against Argentina before tiring out in the last 20 minutes, ultimately losing 52–15. Chile were blown out by the United States in Fort Lauderdale 64–0 before nearly beating Uruguay, losing 20–23. Chile lost their last game at home versus Canada, 64–13, finishing bottom in the inaugural edition.

In the 2017 Americas Rugby Championship, Chile was defeated in all five matches, scoring just four tries in the tournament. In the 2017 Cup of Nations, the team claimed a win over Kenya, while losing to Russia and Hong Kong.

Going into the 2020s Chile finally looked to have turned a corner after having successfully come through the first rounds of South America qualification for the 2023 RWC, they went into the Americas 2 Repechage with strong chances of upsetting a weakened Canada side. In a 2 legged play-off Chile held Canada to a tight 22-21 opener at Langford, British Columbia before overcoming 33-24 in Valparaiso, winning 54-46 on aggregate and booking their place in the Americas 2 qualifier v the USA. It was also their first ever win over Canada at the 8th attempt and one of their biggest scalps yet.

In July 2022 Chile qualified for the Rugby World Cup for the first time. They secured their place with an aggregate 52–51 win over the United States, overturning a one-point deficit in the first leg with a 31–29 win in Glendale, Colorado.[3]

Record

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Overall record

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Top 30 as of 27 May 2024[4]
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
Chile's historical rankings
See or edit source data.
Source: World Rugby[4]
Graph updated to 27 May 2024

Below is a table of the representative rugby matches played by a Chile national XV at test level up until 5 October 2023.

Opponent Played Won Lost Drawn Win % For Aga Diff
  Argentina 40 0 40 0 0.00% 242 1686 −1444
  Argentina XV 12 1 11 0 8.03% 179 576 −397
  Argentina Jaguars 1 0 1 0 0.00% 23 42 −19
  Bermuda 1 1 0 0 100.00% 65 8 +57
  Brazil 28 22 4 2 78.57% 893 337 +556
  Canada 9 1 7 0 11.11% 137 313 −176
  England 1 0 1 0 0.00% 0 71 −71
  Fiji 1 0 1 0 0.00% 16 41 −25
  France Amateur 1 0 1 0 0.00% 3 22 −19
  France XV 1 0 1 0 0.00% 3 34 −31
  Georgia 2 1 1 0 50.00% 36 53 −17
  Germany 1 1 0 0 100.00% 32 10 +22
  Hong Kong 1 0 1 0 0.00% 6 13 −7
  Japan 1 0 1 0 0.00% 12 42 −30
  Kenya 1 1 0 0 100.00% 23 3 +20
  Namibia 1 0 1 0 0.00% 26 28 −2
  Paraguay 27 26 1 0 96.30% 1098 276 +822
  Peru 2 2 0 0 100.00% 62 6 +56
  Portugal 4 0 4 0 0.00% 67 110 −43
  Romania 2 0 2 0 0.00% 34 57 −23
  Russia 3 2 1 0 66.66% 83 98 −15
  Spain 5 2 3 0 40.00% 86 151 −65
  Samoa 1 0 1 0 0.00% 10 43 −33
  Scotland A 1 0 1 0 0.00% 5 45 −40
  South Korea 2 1 1 0 50.00% 66 50 +16
  Tonga 2 0 2 0 0.00% 40 71 −31
  Trinidad and Tobago 1 1 0 0 100.00% 35 6 +29
  United States 8 2 6 0 25.00% 125 336 −211
  Uruguay 50 10 39 1 20.00% 753 1229 −476
  Venezuela 1 1 0 0 100.00% 95 3 +92
Total 211 75 132 3 35.55% 4255 5760 −1505

World Cup record

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World Cup record World Cup Qualification record
Year Round P W D L F A P W D L F A
   1987 Not invited -
    1991 did not enter did not enter
  1995 did not qualify 3 0 0 3 37 109
  1999 did not qualify 4 3 0 1 168 40
  2003 did not qualify 8 4 0 4 196 155
  2007 did not qualify 4 2 0 2 121 138
  2011 did not qualify 2 1 0 1 88 49
  2015 did not qualify 4 2 0 2 92 78
  2019 did not qualify 6 3 1 2 194 110
  2023 Pool stage 4 0 0 4 27 215 6 3 0 3 139 125
Total 1/10 4 0 0 4 27 215 37 18 1 18 1035 804

South American Rugby Championship record

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  • 1951 - Runners-up
  • 1958 - Runners-up
  • 1961 - Runners-up
  • 1964 - Fourth place
  • 1967 - Runners-up
  • 1969 - Runners-up
  • 1971 - Runners-up
  • 1973 - Third place
  • 1975 - Runners-up
  • 1977 - Third place
  • 1979 - Runners-up
  • 1981 - Runners-up
  • 1983 - Third place
  • 1985 - Third place
  • 1987 - Third place
  • 1989 - Third place
  • 1991 - Third place
  • 1993 - Fourth place
  • 1995 - Third place
  • 1997 - Third place
  • 1998 - Third place
  • 2000 - Third place
  • 2001 - Third place
  • 2002 - Third place
  • 2003 - Third place
  • 2004 - Third place
  • 2005 - Third place
  • 2006 - Third place
  • 2007 - Third place
  • 2008 - Third place
  • 2009 - Third place
  • 2010 - Third place
  • 2011 - Runners-up
  • 2012 - Third place
  • 2013 - Third place
  • 2014 - Fourth place
  • 2015 - First place
  • 2016 - Runners-up
  • 2017 - Runners-up
  • 2018 - Third place
  • 2019 - Third place
  • 2020 - Runners-up

Sudamérica Rugby Cup/CONSUR Cup record

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  • 2014 - Third place
  • 2015 - Did not participate
  • 2016 - Third place
  • 2017 - Third place

Americas Rugby Championship record

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  • 2016 - Sixth place
  • 2017 - Sixth place
  • 2018 - Sixth place
  • 2019 - Sixth place

Players

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Current squad

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On 14 August, Chile named an initial 30-player squad for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.[5] The final 3 players were later named on 27 August.[6]

Head Coach:   Pablo Lemoine

  • Caps Updated: 14 August 2023
Player Position Date of birth (age) Caps Club/province
Augusto Böhme Hooker (1997-06-11) 11 June 1997 (age 27) 22   New Orleans Gold
Tomás Dussaillant Hooker (1990-10-06) 6 October 1990 (age 33) 37 Retired
Diego Escobar Hooker (2000-04-17) 17 April 2000 (age 24) 5   Racing 92
Javier Carrasco Prop (1997-08-24) 24 August 1997 (age 26) 19   Selknam
Matías Dittus Prop (1993-07-16) 16 July 1993 (age 30) 21   Périgueux
Iñaki Gurruchaga Prop (1995-10-13) 13 October 1995 (age 28) 11   Selknam
Esteban Inostroza Prop (1994-01-01) 1 January 1994 (age 30) 1   Selknam
Vittorio Lastra Prop (1996-03-26) 26 March 1996 (age 28) 22   Rovigo Delta
Salvador Lues Prop (1999-11-06) 6 November 1999 (age 24) 11   Selknam
Javier Eissmann Lock (1997-03-21) 21 March 1997 (age 27) 21   Selknam
Pablo Huete Lock (1989-01-11) 11 January 1989 (age 35) 30   Selknam
Santiago Pedrero Lock (2000-11-30) 30 November 2000 (age 23) 6   Selknam
Augusto Sarmiento Lock (1993-04-26) 26 April 1993 (age 31) 15   Selknam
Alfonso Escobar Back row (1997-08-17) 17 August 1997 (age 26) 18   Selknam
Raimundo Martínez Back row (1999-11-25) 25 November 1999 (age 24) 10   Selknam
Thomas Orchard Back row (1997-01-12) 12 January 1997 (age 27) 12   Selknam
Clemente Saavedra Back row (1997-12-15) 15 December 1997 (age 26) 20   Selknam
Martín Sigren (c) Back row (1996-05-14) 14 May 1996 (age 28) 27   New England Free Jacks
Ignacio Silva Back row (1989-02-16) 16 February 1989 (age 35) 38   Selknam
Lukas Carvallo Scrum-half (2001-07-06) 6 July 2001 (age 22) 6   Selknam
Nicolás Herreros Scrum-half (1990-01-23) 23 January 1990 (age 34) 5   Agronomia
Marcelo Torrealba Scrum-half (1996-05-06) 6 May 1996 (age 28) 12   Selknam
Benjamín Videla Scrum-half (2001-04-24) 24 April 2001 (age 23) 0   Selknam
Rodrigo Fernández Fly-half (1996-02-08) 8 February 1996 (age 28) 23   Petrarca Padova
Santiago Videla Fly-half (1998-01-16) 16 January 1998 (age 26) 25   Miami Sharks
Pablo Casas Centre (1992-03-04) 4 March 1992 (age 32) 15   Steaua Bucureşti
Matías Garafulic Centre (2000-09-01) 1 September 2000 (age 23) 12   Selknam
José Larenas Centre (1989-09-14) 14 September 1989 (age 34) 47   Selknam
Domingo Saavedra Centre (1997-12-15) 15 December 1997 (age 26) 24   New Orleans Gold
Nicolás Garafulic Wing (1998-09-11) 11 September 1998 (age 25) 19   Selknam
Franco Velarde Wing (1994-11-04) 4 November 1994 (age 29) 16   Selknam
Iñaki Ayarza Fullback (1999-09-07) 7 September 1999 (age 24) 14   Soyaux Angoulême
Francisco Urroz Fullback (1993-09-07) 7 September 1993 (age 30) 11   Selknam

Notable players

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Award winners

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The following Chile players have been recognised at the World Rugby Awards since 2001:[7]

Past coaches

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Lemoine was the first coach in qualify with Chile to the Rugby World Cup.

Current managerial staff

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Position Name
Head Coach   Pablo Lemoine
Assistant Coach   Emiliano Caffera
Coach   Federico Todeschini
Coach   Nicolás Bruzzone
Coach   Ricardo Cortés

Chronology of head coaches

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Since the 1999 Rugby World Cup

Years Coach
2002–2006   Jorge Navesi
2007   Cristian Iga
2007   Gonzolo Balbontin
2008–2012   Daniel Graco
2012–2014   Omar Turcumán
2014–2015   Paul Healy
2016   Elías Santillán
2016–2017   Bernard Charreyre
2017   Omar Turcuman
2017–2018   Mark Cross
2018–present   Pablo Lemoine

Badge and colours

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The Chile national team wears vibrant combination of red, white and blue as its official colors. The red symbolizes the team's fierce determination, passion, and energy on the rugby field. This bold hue embodies the spirit of Chilean rugby and reflects the team's unwavering commitment to the game. White, serving as the secondary color, represents purity, unity, and sportsmanship, essential values that the team upholds both on and off the field. The tertiary color, blue, adds depth to the palette, symbolizing loyalty, trust, and stability, qualities that are crucial for team cohesion and success in international rugby competitions.

The badge of the Chile rugby union national team is a visual representation of the team's identity and heritage. While the specific design may vary, it often incorporates the national colors along with a iconic symbol of Chile, such as the Andean condor, a majestic bird that holds significant cultural importance in Chilean folklore. The badge typically embodies the team's spirit of determination, strength, and unity, capturing the essence of Chilean rugby. It serves as a powerful emblem that unites players and fans alike, instilling a sense of pride and belonging within the rugby community in Chile.

Sponsors

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The following companies are the main sponsors of the Chilean team for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. [8]

Main sponsors

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Partners

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See also

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References

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  1. ^ Bath, Richard (ed.) The Complete Book of Rugby (Seven Oaks Ltd, 1997 ISBN 1-86200-013-1) p65
  2. ^ Collins, Tony (1 September 2015). The Oval World: A Global History of Rugby (First ed.). Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 9781408843703.
  3. ^ Pengelly, Martin (17 July 2022). "Chile upset USA in Colorado to secure first ever Rugby World Cup place". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 July 2022.
  4. ^ a b "Men's World Rankings". World Rugby. Retrieved 27 May 2024.
  5. ^ Cóndores Roster Named for Chile’s Inaugural Rugby World Cup
  6. ^ Chile Confirm Final Three Names for Inaugural Rugby World Cup
  7. ^ "Awards Roll of Honour - World Rugby". World Rugby. Retrieved 16 March 2024.
  8. ^ "Cóndores Rugby - Chile Rugby". Archived from the original on 10 July 2023.