Last chance saloon in Montevideo
There is just one place left for the 2011 Rugby World Cup and the first step towards filling it will be taken when Uruguay meet Romania in Montevideo on Saturday in the first leg of a two-legged race.
The winner will be the 20th team for the World Cup and go into Pool B in New Zealand along with England, Scotland, Argentina and Georgia.
Romania have been to every World Cup since 1987, Uruguay to two - in 1999 and 2003. In 2007 Los Teros lost out by one aggregate point to Portugal after winning 18-12 in Montevideo and stayed at home when they could have been in France.
Being the home leg, the Uruguayans will want to build up a big lead to take with them to Bucharest when they face the Oaks in the second leg.
Uruguay captain, hooker Carlos Arboleya, said simply: “Our primary objective is to win.” Arboleya played in the 12-5 loss in Lisbon for the 2007 World Cup. He says but believes that his team are better prepared this time.
Los Teros have played the Oaks twice before, both times in Bucharest and on both occasion victory went to Romania - 10-6 in 2008 and 17-11 in 2009. But this match is at home, in spring, a long way from cold Bucharest.
Uruguay had a warm-up match against a combined Buenos Aires at CASI club in San Isidro recently and won 32-28.
Romania, who have access to their foreign-based players, arrived in Buenos Aires on Thursday morning.
As an incentive to the two sides the Webb Ellis Cup will be at the match.
Uruguay: 15 Ivo Dugonjic, 14 Leandro Leivas, 13 Martín Crosa, 12 Juan De Freitas, 11 Gastón Mieres, 10 Matías Arocena, 9 Manuel Martínez, 8 Santiago Vilaseca, 7 Nicolás Brignoni, 6 Mathias Braun, 5 Diego Magno, 4 Matias Fonseca, 3 Mario Sagario, 2 Carlos Arboleya (captain), 1 Alejo Corral
Replacements: 16 Juan Pedro Rombys, 17 Martín Espiga, 18 Pablo Lemoine, 19 Juan Ignacio Tabárez, 20 Juan Manuel Gaminara, 21 Emiliano Caffera, 22 Nicolás Morales
Romania: 15 Vlaicu Florin, 14 Fercu Catalin, 13 Gal Csaba, 12 Dimofte Ionut, 11 Lemnaru Madalin, 10 Dumbrava Danut, 9 Lucian Sirbu, 8 Manta Alexandru, 7 Tonita Ovidiu, 6 Burcea Stelian, 5 Ursache Valentin, 4 Socol Sorin (C), 3 Dima Dragos, 2 Tincu Marius, 1 Balan Bogdan
Replacements: 16 Popescu Cezar, 17 Radoi Andrei, 18 Lazar Mihai, 19 Cristian Petre, 20 Carpo Daniel, 21 Calafeteanu Valentin, 22 Dumitras Iulian
Date: Saturday, 13 November 2010
Venue: Estadio Charrúa, Montevideo
Expected weather conditions: Clear with a high of 22°C and a northeaster of 18 km/h
Referee: Mark Lawrence (South Africa)