Portugal’s captain, Thomas Appleton, talks to World Rugby about his team’s 2023 qualifying hopes for France. Success at under-20 level will not automatically translate into the senior testing stadium, but Portuguese captain Tomas Appleton sees some parallels between the progress France has made and the progress of his own team. The Rugby fans can buy France Rugby World Cup tickets from our website at exclusively discount able prices.
Les Bleus is now being referred to as a serious contender for the 2023 Rugby World Cup, not only because they are hosts, but also because of the harvest of talented youngsters pushing the team forward.
Portugal may be operating at a lower level, but they have also shown a willingness to invest in youth, with a significant proportion of the teams that have finished on the podium in three consecutive Under-20 World Cup tournaments now playing an influential role in Os Lobos’ bid to qualify for only their second Rugby World Cup.
“We all know that the French had an Under-20 world champion team and brought many of their players to the major team and we also had very good results, especially in the Under-20 Rugby World Trophy,” Appleton acknowledged.
“We are building a robust group and our main goal is, of course, to be in France for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.”
“They are amazing players and although they are both still very young, they have experienced a professional rugby environment abroad,” said Appleton, who plays his rugby club with 20-time Portuguese champion CBUL.
“Jerome was a little unlucky. Due to the COVID situation, he had to return from South America. But I was starting to build something on a professional level.
“And Jorge, in 2017 or 2018, i feel so, visited the high-performance Crusader Academy in Christchurch and came back with a really good understanding of the sport and was physically more prof effective and faster.”
At the other end of the ages is Samuel Marques, the scrum-half of Portugal. Marques, a top 14 player in France with Pau, ended an eight-year exile from the national team when he began the primary round of the loss to Georgia and added tons to the team. For France Rugby World Cup tickets visit our websites.
“He had an enormous impact on the team,” Appleton agreed. “He plays within the Top 14 in France and is employed to a more competitive environment than other guys and brings with him tons of experience. Our team isn’t that old, and sometimes we’d like players like him to form good decisions and calm things down, and that is what he does rather well.”
Appleton, 27, was a teenager when Portugal made his Rugby World Cup debut in France in 2007 and would like to bring the team back there as one of Europe’s direct qualifiers.
“There was a lot of hype around rugby at the time (2007). And I was lucky enough to be in France, in the under-15 international tournament. When the World Cup was coming up, and I went to watch Portugal’s match against Italy in Paris,” he said.
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For the 2023 Rugby World Cup, Europe has been awarded two automatic qualifying places, with the two best teams. After considering the results of the 2021 and 2022 European Rugby Championships. Which claim reserved places for Europe 1 and Europe 2. Portugal is currently second on the table behind Georgia. And is on track to play against defending world champions South Africa, Ireland, Scotland, and Asia-Pacific 1. The fans can also buy South Africa Rugby World Cup tickets from our website.
“Second place is our main goal. But we are realistic enough to know that two years ago we played at a lower level. Against the Czech Republic and Ukraine,” Appleton said. And noting that Portugal must realize that it should not get too far ahead when so much rugby is still being played.
Portugal has only played three matches in a 10-match qualifying campaign and has won only once. But there were many positives to draw from the 43-28 losses to Georgia (29-16) and Romania (28-27). And the 43-28 win over Spain. France Rugby World Cup tickets also available on our website.
“We must not forget that in November we played in a series. Against Brazil and Georgia played against England, Wales, Ireland, and Fiji in the Autumn Nations Cup. So there’s a big difference. For Fiji Rugby World Cup tickets visit our website.
“When we entered the Romanian game. We were hungry to try to do it right and that we got off to an excellent start. We felt good on the scoreboard, but we had terrible routines. And that we didn’t handle the sport alright and lost at the eleventh hour trying to drive the maul.
“It was a little different against Spain. And It was a game of killing or dying, and we knew we had to come forward. It took us a while to find each other. But we grew up in the game. And our attackers gave us a good attacking structure to score and our backs did very well.
Halfway to heaven
Once these matches are played, Portugal and the rest of the European Rugby Championship. The teams will be halfway through their qualifying campaigns. Appleton, who was a wide-eyed spectator at the Rugby World Cup, would have had no choice. But to get there as a player and enjoy the support of the great Portuguese Diaspora in France.
“There are more than a million Portuguese in Paris,” he said. “To play in the Rugby World Cup in France would be amazing.”
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