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Ulster to host special friendly against Uruguay

By Adam McKendry

Ulster have confirmed they will host international side Uruguay in a friendly at Kingspan Stadium on Friday November 9 (kick-off 7:30pm).

The two sides will meet in a clash that will be beneficial for both sides as Los Teros continue their preparations for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, while Ulster are able to keep their side fresh during a down period in the Guinness PRO14.

Uruguay are preparing for a tough World Cup pool that contains the Wallabies, Wales, Georgia and Fiji.

The visitors, who are ranked 18th in the world, will be Ulster's first international opponents since 2008 when they hosted Portugal in a similar match and will bring over an exciting squad that will be looking to cause an upset in Japan next year.

While most of their squad play in their local league, Campeonato Uruguayo, one notable name is Castres lock Rodrigo Capo Ortega, who has played over 300 times for the Top 14 club and has played in Belfast before in the Heineken Cup.

Ulster Rugby Operations Director, Bryn Cunningham, commented: "We're delighted to be hosting another unique game at Kingspan Stadium against an ambitious developing rugby nation.

"Challenges against international sides used to be a lot more common so this fixture certainly has a nostalgic feel to it, and it is one that we are all very much looking forward to. Uruguay will be in the throws of their World Cup preparation so we are expecting a full-blooded test and a good spectacle for the Ulster fans."

Sebastián Piñeyrua, President of the Uruguay Rugby Union, added: "We are really looking forward to the game, and it will be a great opportunity to test ourselves as we aim to continue improving as a team.

"This is one of a number of upcoming fixtures for us, and we will be treating it very seriously as the players stake a claim for a place in our World Cup squad. Ulster is a strong and successful club with a proud tradition so we were more than happy to accept this invitation and we look forward to visiting the province."

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