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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 September 2007, 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK
Portugal RWC team guide
A one-stop guide to all you need to know about Portugal for the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

Fixtures (Pool C):

  • v Scotland - 9 September, 1700 BST, Saint Etienne
  • v New Zealand - 15 September, 1300 BST, Lyon
  • v Italy - 19 September, 1900 BST, Paris
  • v Romania - 25 September, 1900 BST, Toulouse

    Recent form: Their four-year qualifying campaign ended with a two-legged play-off win over Uruguay in March, despite going down 18-12 away from home. More recently the largely amateur outfit lost to Canada in a warm-up and went down by just two points at home to Japan.

    Coach: A back injury forced Tomaz Morais into premature retirement and the former international, a published author and a university professor, has since become a successful coach. He was shortlisted for the IRB's Coach of the Year Award in 2004 and has helped revolutionise rugby in the country.

    Captain: Lawyer Vasco Uva, 24, is an uncompromising flanker and leader of the pack for Os Lobos - AKA The Wolves.

    World Cup pedigree: Absolutely none. They are the only debutants at this World Cup.

    Present star: There's more than one Uva in this team. The captain's twin brother Goncalo is a powerful lock who plays professionally for Montpellier in France.

    Maverick: Centre Diogo Mateus has come through under coach Morais in the sevens set up and has experience of the professional ranks in the 15-man game with Munster.

    Enforcer: Any forward platform needs to be built on a cumbersome cornerstone in the scrum so step forward veteran prop Joaquim Ferreira. The 34-year-old is a mainstay of the team and will need to call on all his experience.

    Strengths: Enthusiasm and absolutely nothing to lose... apart from four games of rugby.

    Weaknesses: Pretty much everything, and if all that is not enough Portugal have been stiffed by the organisers. Like Tonga, they have to squeeze four matches into just 17 days. Take in the vagaries of the kick-off times and the Portuguese have the most compressed schedule of competing nations.

    Did you know? The Uva brothers are in good company in playing at a World Cup with a sibling, following in the footsteps of the Hastings boys, the Underwoods and the Brookes among others. But these two have even more familial ties. Cousin Joao is the number eight.

    World Cup base: Chambon sur Lignon (from 5 September)

    They say: "We have to enjoy each day because this is a lifetime experience. For us we already are the champion team because our World Cup was to get here. But we will try to surprise every opponent during every minute of the game." Tomaz Morais

    You say: "NZ, Italy, Scotland, Romania, Portugal."
    CreamCraicer on 606

    World ranking: 21

    Odds: 2500/1

    Our verdict: They are on a hiding to nothing. Hopefully the mis-matches they face will not end in serious injury and they will head home with happy memories.

    Ranking and odds correct at 26 August. Odds supplied by William Hill.

    Rugby union positions guide
    05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment
    Country profile: Portugal
    04 May 07 |  Country profiles


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