Chile have named an extended 45-man training squad for the 2018 Americas Rugby Championship. Included are 13 uncapped players with five coming directly from the Cóndores u20 side that participated in the World Rugby u20 Trophy tournament four months ago.
All but one of the group that played four tests in November are selected, with scrumhalf Sergio Bascuñan left out and Beltrán Vergara recalled. Uncapped 19-year-old Hermes Didier is also named though he is one of several players unlikely to see test action in the tournament. Talented flyhalf or centre Lucca Avelli earns his first call to the senior squad as does Old Georgians midfielder Diego Ramírez, who missed out on the u20 Trophy despite being of age.
Another promising youngster who was absent in Montevideo is 2.00m (6’7″) second row Javier Eissmann. He is the tallest player in the squad with no place for Pablo Huete, the Bayonne lock who returned for the World Cup Qualifiers but is only rarely seen in a Cóndores jersey. First choice loosehead prop Ramón Ayarza, another at Bayonne, is also missing though he is still recovering from a torn hamstring.
There are other notable absentees. None of the Chilean sevens players will take part as they focus on the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco. That rules out the likes of Felipe Brangier, Ignacio Silva, and Rodrigo Fernández. Hard-running midfielders Matías Nordenflycht and Simón Pardakhty are nowhere to be found, and last year’s first choice flyhalf Francisco González Moller is also conspicuously absent.
There are a handful of players based externally in the team. Italy-based prop Vittorio Lastra, Barcelona backs Francisco de la Fuente and Franco Velarde, and star flanker Anton Petrowitsch, now playing in Portugal, are all present. Major League Rugby signing Nikola Bursic will also put his NOLA Gold training on hold to join the team.
Los Cóndores finished last in the 2017 tournament with no wins from five games. They open their 2018 campaign against Brazil in Santiago on February 3.
Basilio Díaz (COBS), Marco Díaz (Old Macks), Vittorio Lastra (Valsugana, IT), José Tomás Munita (Uni Católica), Sebastián Otero (Los Troncos), Claudio Zamorano (Stade Francais), Tomás Dussaillant (Old Boys), Ignacio Guajardo (Old Macks), Claudio Iturra (Stade Francais), Rodrigo Moya (PWCC), Bastián Burguener (Sporting), Nikola Bursic (New Orleans Gold, US), Javier Eissmann (Uni Católica), Allan Guiloff (Old Boys), Mario Mayol (Old Boys), Raimundo Piwonka (PWCC), Manuel Dagnino (Old Macks), Iñaki de Urruticoechea (COBS), Alfonso Escobar (COBS), Thomas Orchard (Old Lions), Eduardo Orpis (COBS), Anton Petrowitsch (AA Coimbra, PT), Adriano Razeto (Old Locks), Javier Richard (COBS), Axel Scheel (Old Johns), Benjamín Soto (Stade Francais)
Hermes Didier (Old Johns), Juan Pablo Perrotta (Uni Católica), Domingo Saavedra (Old Boys), Beltrán Vergara (Old Boys), José Tomás Baraona (Uni Catolica), Benjamín Pizarro (Uni Catolica), Santiago Videla (Old Boys), Lucca Avelli (PWCC), Francisco de la Fuente (Barcelona, ES), José Ignacio Larenas (Uni Católica), Javier Lavanderos (Sporting), Diego Ramírez (Old Georgians), Matías Balbontín (Old Macks), Martín Raddatz (COBS), Mauricio Urrutia (Sporting), Franco Velarde (Barcelona, ES), Ítalo Zunino (COBS), Tomás Ianiszewski (Old Locks), José Tomás Maturana (Old Boys)
Fixtures and roster details can be seen here.