Team Profile: Portugal

Portugal Rugby

Portugal is the first totally amateur team to qualify for the Rugby World Cup (in the professional era, obviously), securing their place by beating Uruguay by a single point on aggregate.

A place in Pool C in their first ever World Cup is the prize for the band of students, doctors and lawyers, where they will face New Zealand, Scotland, Italy and Romania – a tough group for a side like Portugal.

The team competes in the European Nations Cup – a competition for the second tier european countries, and in 2003, they sprung a surprise 16-15 victory over Romania, one of their RWC Pool C nemeses, to win the tournament.  Unfortunately, Romania beat them 92-0 this season.

However, they are able exponents of the abbreviated version of rugby, competing at the highest level on the IRB Sevens circuit.  Pedro Leal is considered one of their best 7s players, and plays at full-back in the 15-a-side game.  Other key players to watch include captain and number eight Vasco Uva, and fly-half Duarte Pinto.

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