South American place at Women's Rugby World Cup 2025 on the line in Asunción

Colombia and Brazil meet in Asunción, Paraguay this Saturday in attempt to become the first South American team to play on the sport's greatest stage, and you can follow the action live and exclusive on RugbyPass TV.

For Brazil and Colombia the stakes couldn’t be higher this weekend with the winner of their meeting in Asunción, Paraguay, qualifying for Women's Rugby World Cup 2025.

You can watch the game for live and for free by signing up to RugbyPass TV.

Never before has a South American team been in a position of making it to the biggest of stages and while they are quite new to 15s rugby, having either As Yaras or Las Tucanes next year in England will open the women’s game in a new region.

Colombia have won all five previous tests and as the higher-ranked of the two teams by some 25 places, will go into the match at the Héroes de Curupayty Stadium as firm favourites.

Ranked 26th, Colombia have had this date marked down in their calendar for some time. 

“We have been in Asunción for a week preparing for the game,” says former Tero Sevens coach Luis Pedro Achard, who joined the women’s programme in Colombia last year after the Tucanes finished last in WXV 3.

“Since December, our focus has been on this game, these 80 minutes.”

With a group of players that have been together for a couple or more years, they should be more experienced than their opponents on Saturday.

“Our most capped player has 13 caps in six years which if you compare that with the elite is very little. We are now playing more XVs in Colombia which is good, but we could have done with more competition," adds Achard.

Having lost 22-11 to the Netherlands in the WXV 3 2024 play-off,  Colombia played against Trinidad and Tobago a couple of weeks ago. The record 96-0 win brought some positives, says the coach.

“While we were not put under defensive pressure, it is not easy to score so many points. Back in January we played against opposition of a similar standard and we won by 37 points.”

“We were a focused team, playing with order for the full 80 minutes."

As Yaras pose a much bigger threat, he concurs. “It is important to control the girls’ anxiety, not playing the game beforehand but I feel they are doing well.”

The Brazilians will have an old mate of Achard as head coach. Emiliano Caffera played under Achard for Uruguay Sevens and was his assistant once he retired before joining the 15s programme, eventually going to RWC 2015 with Los Teros, and in 2023 with Chile. He has since joined the Brazilian Rugby Union.

“We are accepting the challenges of playing 15s rugby as all our players learn the game playing sevens,” says Caffera.

“After a semester, the girls have a feel for 15s – the short game, the scrum, the maul, the kicking game. In Brazil they love to play with the ball in hand, but are lacking experience in key moments…nothing specific, just the simple details throughout a game.”

In that sense, Caffera acknowledges that Colombia “will be a solid team, with girls that have been playing together longer than us and with their new staff.”

But he vows they will give it their all in a bid to make it to England in 2025. “We will go toe to toe!”

Qualifying for WRWC 2025 would do wonders for raising awareness of women's 15s rugby in Brazil, he points out, while also highlighting the challenges it would bring. 

“We are trying to spread 15s in the country and we had a good regional tournament this year. We are getting more clubs to play, but it is difficult,” says Caffera.

“Qualifying for the Rugby World Cup will require a bigger structure but it could be a nice challenge to tackle.”

Achard, meanwhile, wants his Colombian team to break new ground. “It is important to qualify for a number of reasons; we would be the first South American side, we would lead the way, it would help us continue developing 15s. Also, we will have more competition which is what we need to grow and stay focused," he says. 

“Going to a Rugby World Cup would be a totally new experience for Colombia. Obviously, there are huge differences with a top side, but Chile played in their first Rugby World Cup last year and they were competitive and showcased their rugby.”

Rugby World Cup 2025 is coming to England. Register now to be the first to hear about tickets.

Last updated: Jun 28, 2024, 6:34:48 AM
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