This is a very underrated rugby tournament as the best rugby sides in North and South America will play for a chance to show who is the best in a section of the globe to show the world where the sport is only getting more popular every year. That being said, it’s also very competitive and it allows the world to see the talent outside of Europe and the three top nations in the Southern Hemisphere. If you’re American, Canadian, Uruguay, Chilean, or whatever, you will massively enjoy this tournament. That being said, let’s take a look at each team.
In American terms, this squad is almost like a minor league side. For the rest of the world, this is almost like an academy squad. That being said, this team showcases the type of talent Argentina has. Despite what people see it as, it’s still a very strong side that could probably compete with Tier Two Nations any day. Like the main national side, this team focuses a lot on their scrum as well as they have some top talent in the pack like flanker Francisco Gorrissen and locks Jerónimo Ureta and Franco Molina. They also boast a solid scrumhalf in Manuel Nogués. In the backs, they pack a lot of speed with a lot of talented players like fullback Bautista Delguy (who played for the main national team in 2018) and winger Julián Dominguez.
Brazil is another nation on the rise in the sport. It may take them a while to become a solid rugby nation, but their hope is that they can qualify by the 2023 World Cup. This tournament allows them to showcase their talent and for them to slowly improve against better rugby nations like Canada and USA. A notable name is flyhalf Josh Reeves who plays in Major League Rugby. There is some talent in the forwards with props Lucas Abud and Jardel Vettorato and hookers Wilton Rebolo and Yan Rosetti. However, along with Reeves, the strength for this side is their backs as they have such talent like centers Moisés Duque and Felipe Sancery. Just keep an eye on them.
Clearly one of the most talented teams in this tournament, Canada is trying to become a Tier One nation badly. There seriously is a lot to like about them. They will be led by seasoned veteran hooker Ray Barkwill, but along with his experience, he has some talent in the pack that should help them a lot. Lock Josh Larsen, props Hubert Buydens and Djustice Sears-Duru, lock Kyle Baillie, and flanker Nakai Penny are top players, but also be on the watch out for Barkwill’s eventual heir in Eric Howard. In the backs, scrumhalf Jamie Mackenzie is a top player, but there is also center Ciaran Hearn and flyhalf Will Kelly. Watch out for scrumhalf Will Percillier.
Chile is another nation on the rise in rugby, but they are having a hard time developing good players. There is some talent here, but it always seems like they don’t have enough to be competitive. This tournament should allow them to grow though. One of their most notable players from Major League Rugby is lock Nikola Bursic, but other players to watch for are prop Vittorio Lastra and lock Javier Eissmann.
The Americans used to be a top contender for the title, now they are expected to win it as they have seemingly become the “All Blacks” of the tournament. That being said, there is a good reason too as USA is slowly becoming a rugby powerhouse as they are ranked 12th in the world, the first time in USA history. Head coach Gary Gold has been finding a lot of great talent and they are becoming deeper too. He has such great talents like hooker Joe Taufete’e, props Paul Mullen and Titi Lamositele, lock Samu Manoa, flankers Hanco Germishuys and John Quill, scrumhalf Shaun Davies, flyhalf AJ MacGinty, centers Bryce Campbell and Paul Lasike, and wingers Gannon Moore and Mike Te’o. These guys are really good.
The often forgotten rugby nation, the Uruguayans have a lot of talent. Uruguay is also slowly becoming a top Tier Two nation with the hopes of becoming a Tier One nation soon. Some of the talent on this team consists of is prop Mateo Sanguinetti, locks Ignacio Dotti and Diego Magno, scrumhalf Santiago Arata, and fullback Gaston Mieres. Keep an eye on them as they have the potential of upsetting and possibly finishing in the top half of the table.
James Rowe: This tournament is really underrated as it’s always great to see talent that doesn’t get recognized otherwise. That being said, I had a hard time picking the table after the winner because of how close the talent is. With that in mind, I think there is some underrated talent here that will get noticed in 2019. Here is my final table:
- Argentina XV