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Internal News - 27 March 2007

Uruguayan rugby team visits Bath

The Uruguayan National Under-19 Rugby Team arrives at the University today for a short break before taking part in the U19 World Rugby Championships in Belfast starting 4 April. The team will be based at the Sports Training Village and will combine some intensive training and coaching with seeing the local sights.

On Friday 30 March the team will play the University Rugby Team in what is expected to be a tough match for both teams. His Excellency Mr Ricardo Varela, the Uruguayan Ambassador, will attend the match with his family and Embassy staff.

The visit to Bath stems from a visit to Uruguay last year by Professor George Lunt, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, and Ged Roddy, Director of Sport, during which they met various members of the Uruguayan Rugby Union and discussed possible collaborative ventures.

There is a long and proud tradition of rugby in Uruguay that has its origins in the Montevideo Cricket Club. The Cricket Club was founded in 1861 by the English community in Uruguay and adopted the then very new game of Rugby in 1868 and played the first games in Uruguay. The Montevideo Cricket Club is recognised by the Museum of Rugby in Twickenham as the 8th oldest rugby club in the world.

In 1875 the Club played its first International match against the Buenos Aires Cricket Club. The Montevideo Cricket Club is still in existence and covers a wide range of sports - it can proudly claim to have served as the foundation for modern Rugby in Uruguay and the national team draws many of its members from the Cricket Club.