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Chile to make debut at the 2023 Rugby World Cup

Last updated: 17 Jul 2022
Ralph Staniforth 17 Jul 2022
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  • Chile play their first World Cup match against Japan in Toulouse on 10 September 2023
  • USA fail to qualify after stunning Chile comeback
  • This is the first time since the 1999 World Cup that the USA won’t feature
USA vs Chile rugby
Chile reach 2023 Rugby World Cup (Getty Images)

Chile have quite incredibly qualified for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Their playoff victory against the USA came against all the odds.

The USA have featured in every Rugby World Cup since 2003 and won the rights to host the 2031 Rugby World Cup. This is a massive hammer blow to the USA’s hopes to grow the game in the country, and in a way, it could cost World Rugby in the long term.

None of that takes away from what Chile have achieved. The playoff was played over two legs and quite incredibly, over 160 minutes of rugby, Chile never led the tie until the final five minutes of the second leg.

Last week the USA traveled to Santiago and beat Chile 22-21. That result meant that Chile would need to win by two points in the USA at a sold out Infinity Park.

That seemed a tough task for Chile, but after half an hour the USA were 19-0 up in the second leg. The tough task had become the impossible task

However, the tide turned when referee Luke Pearce showed the yellow card to USA lock, Nick Civetta. That gave Chile hope and momentum with a late Santiago Videla penalty securing a 31-29 victory.

In their first ever World Cup appearance, Chile will face Japan on 10 September 2023 in Toulouse, France. They are placed in Pool D alongside England, Argentina, Japan and Samoa. 

Getting any sort of result out of those teams will be an even bigger feat that qualifying.

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