By Brian Lowe, Date: 2/8/18
South American champions Chile are excited at the prospect of becoming the first Latin Americans to compete in a Rugby League World Cup qualifying series.
The national team, the Weichafes (Spanish for Warriors), will play in the Americas region qualifiers for the 2021 RLWC in England.
As part of a new format outlined by the Rugby League International Federation, they will become the fourth team in the group joining the USA, Canada and Jamaica in the series which is scheduled to be played in November of this year.
Chile is now an affiliate member of the Asia Pacific Rugby League Confederation and is ranked #9 within that group of countries.
Chile’s Australian-based head coach Rod Millar says he has definite expectations going into the qualifiers.
“We’ve got two games and I definitely want to win one out of two, but realistically from a coaching perspective, I’m hoping to win both games,” he says.
“That’s our aim. Our aim is to go out there, play the best we can, train for it and give a good account of ourselves.
“Not only for ourselves and for our families because it’s such a new sport and we want to promote the sport, but it’s also to give other Latin American nations the impetus to say if Chile can do it, so can we. And they can absolutely do so.”
Millar says they have eligible players spread out around the world and it’s just a matter of getting them together and to play as a team.
“We showed that in the internationals in November that we can do so,” he continues.
“With a little bit more time for more training I think it’ll go a long way towards giving a good account of ourselves.
“I’m going there to win two out of two.”
The coach expects the Chileans will be able to field as good a team as they possibly can by the time the RLWCQ arrive in mid-November.
Overseas-based players who are eligible for the Weichafes currently play in various levels of competitions in Australia, England and the United States.
You can hear the full interview with Rod Millar on the USA Rugby League Show podcast https://soundcloud.com/user-824093219/usa-rugby-league-show-7
It’s also available on iTunes at https://www.apple.com/itunes/ and on Stitcher https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=192832&refid=stpr