Uruguay coach Esteban Meneses has named a 34-man training squad to prepare for Japan 2019, the first Rugby World Cup to be held in Asia.
Of those selected, 15 are currently registered with clubs outside of Uruguay, however a 16th, Castres second-row Rodrigo Capó Ortega, has been omitted due to injury.
The 38-year-old, who initially retired from international rugby three months before Rugby World Cup 2015, returned to the test arena in January last year to help Los Teros beat Canada over two legs to qualify for Japan 2019. Capó Ortega had previously represented Uruguay at Rugby World Cup 2003 in Australia.
“Rodrigo was in our plans; we spoke with him and clearly the injury was a big issue as he is only now starting to run again,” explained Meneses, in the build-up to his first Rugby World Cup. “He won’t be able to prepare with the team and we won’t have him in Japan.”
Juan Manuel Gaminara will captain Los Teros during their Pool D campaign in Japan. Uruguay’s first match is against Fiji in Kamaishi on 25 September and they will also play Australia, Georgia and Wales.
Gaminara is one of 12 players in Meneses’ training squad who also made the trip to England in 2015. Felipe Berchesi, Germán Kessler, Franco Lamana, Leandro Leivas, Diego Magno, Gastón Mieres, Alejandro Nieto, Agustín Ormeachea, Mateo Sanguinetti, Rodrigo Silva and Andrés Vilaseca all featured four years ago.
Meneses confirmed that fly-half Berchesi is expected to recover from a rib operation in time to take part in the quadrennial tournament.
He also left the door open to those players representing Los Teritos at the World Rugby U20 Trophy in Brazil this month, suggesting additions could be made “depending on how they perform”.
“I have everyone I had in my plans, except Rodrigo,” added Meneses.
Uruguay are preparing to make their fourth appearance at Rugby World Cup in Japan, and once again Los Teros should make the trip with at least one Ormaechea in their ranks.
Diego Ormaechea, the oldest player ever to play at Rugby World Cup, captained his country on their tournament debut in 1999 before coaching the team in Australia four years later.
His youngest son, scrum-half Agustín Ormaechea, started each of Uruguay’s four Pool A matches in England four years ago and has been named alongside his brother Juan Diego (pictured) in the training squad for Japan.
Uruguay’s preparations for this year’s tournament will begin on 7 July, when the players convene at the Estadio Charrúa High Performance Centre.
The squad will spend four weeks in a training camp in Montevideo before contesting three home warm-up matches, against an Argentina XV, Brazil and a South American XV. The final 31-man squad will depart for Tokyo on 7 September.
Forwards: Diego Arbelo, Juan Echeverría, Facundo Gattas, Joaquín Jaunsolo, Germán Kessler, Guillermo Pujadas, Juan Pedro Rombys, Mateo Sanguinetti, Ignacio Dotti, Manuel Leindaker, Diego Magno, Gonzalo Soto Mera, Franco Lamanna, Manuel Ardao, Juan Manuel Gaminara, Santiago Civetta, Juan Diego Ormaechea (foto), Manuel Diana, Alejandro Nieto, Leandro Segredo.
Backs: Santiago Arata, Agustín Ormaechea, Felipe Berchesi, Juan Manuel Cat, Andrés Vilaseca, Agustín Della Corte, Nicolás Freitas, Tomás Inciarte, Federico Favaro, Ignacio García, Leandro Leivas, Felipe Etcheverry, Rodrigo Silva, Gastón Mieres.