Colombia name squad for Rugby World Cup 2021 Final Qualification Tournament
Colombia have named a 29-player squad for this month’s Rugby World Cup 2021 Final Qualification Tournament in Dubai.
The squad contains three players who appeared at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Alejandra Betancur, Camila Lopera and Isabel Romero.
Lopera, Romero and new captain Leidy Soto, meanwhile, are among eight women included who played in the World Rugby Olympic repechage tournament in Monaco last June.
Soto, one of the original World Rugby ‘Unstoppables’, has taken on the captaincy from Nicole Acevedo, who led Las Tucanes to the 16-15 victory against Kenya in Nairobi that confirmed their place in Dubai.
Las Tucanes are scheduled to leave Colombia on Monday headed for Spain, where they will play their first ever international against a European nation in preparation for the Final Qualification Tournament.
Colombia are then due to meet Kazakhstan at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai on 19 February, with the winner of that match going on to face Scotland for a place in Pool A at RWC 2021.
The Federación Colombia de Rugby have confirmed that Lissete Martínez will coach the squad in Spain and the United Arab Emirates.
Colombia made their women’s test debut in August 2019, when Las Tucanes beat Brazil 28-7 in Medellin thanks to tries from Laura Mejia, Caroline Naranjo, Sharon Acevedo and Leidy García.
Las Tucanes beat their South American rivals again in March of the following year and then booked their passage to Dubai with the narrow defeat of Kenya on 25 August, 2021.
The team is currently 26th on the World Rugby Women’s Rankings powered by Capgemini, 11 places below Kazakhstan and 17 from Scotland in ninth.
Colombia squad for RWC 2021 Final Qualification Tournament:
Alejandra Betancur, Angela Alzate Moncada, Natalia Barajas, Ailyn Carolina Andrioly Gonzalez, Maribel Mestra, Julieth Tatiana Hernandez, Laura Valentina Alvarez Silva, Catalina Arango Arango, Yamileth Andrea Ramirez Agudelo, Camila Lopera, Laura Mejia, Valentina Tapias, Valeria Muñoz Cuartas, Isabel Romero, Leidy Soto, Maria Isabel Arzuaga, Leidy García, Yina Marcela Quintero Verjel, Annagith Marsellis Vargas Torres, Juliana Soto, Gales Daian Avendaño, Gisel Tatiana Gomez Gomez, Silvia Juliana Olave Garrido, Lizbeth Joanna Brant Restrepo, Maira Alejandra Martínez, Maira Atonia Cortes, María Camila Castrillón, Angie Manyoma, Gloribeth Campos.