‘Os Lobos’ first qualified in 2007, when they found themselves in a Pool with New Zealand, Italy, Romania and Scotland, and this time they are in Pool C alongside Wales, Australia, Fiji and Georgia. They are due to meet Wales on 16 September at the Allianz Riviera stadium, in Nice.
It will be the second time the two nations have met. The first time was during the qualifying process for the 1995 World Cup, when Wales had to play four games to ensure they earned a ticket to South Africa.
The game was played at the University of Lisbon and turned into a record-breaking day for Wales, as they scored 16 tries in a 102-11 victory:
• It took just 1min 28sec for Wales to open their account with Scott Quinnell’s try and they rattled up 36 points in the opening 20 minutes.
• The 102 points almost doubled Wales’s previous high of 55 against Japan in October and their 16 tries comfortably eclipsed the 11 scored against France in 1909.
• Neil Jenkins’ 11 conversions beat the previous Welsh best of eight in 1910 by Jack Bancroft, and the 102 points overtook the 74 scored by New Zealand and Western Samoa in previous World Cup games.
• Nigel Walker ran in four tries for a share of the Welsh record in a match and one more score would have allowed him to overtake Jenkins’s all-time high of 24 points in a game, one of the few marks to survive.
The Portuguese at least gritted their teeth for 20 minutes, managing a penalty from Maria Vilar Gomes and a try by Pedro Murinello, but anyone imagining it will be as easy as that 29 years on should think again.
Lagisquet has named a squad that boasts 17 players who ply their trade in France and can point to victories over Kenya and Hong Kong in the repechage tournament to bag the final place in the tournament.
They then went on to draw with the USA in their final game with a last gasp kick making it 16-16 and sending them through to France.
Skipper Tomás Appleton claimed it was “one of the best feelings in the world” to see the kick go over and he now wants to use the 2023 tournament to not only pick up his country’s first victory at the World Cup, but to use the competition to inspire a new generation of players.
Portugal Rugby World Cup Training Squad 2023
David Costa (GD Direito)
António Machada Santons (CF “Os Belenenses”)
Francisco Fernandes (Beziers)
Diogo Hasse Ferreira (Dax)
António Prim da Costa (GD Direito)
Anthony Alves (Stade Montois)
Francisco Bruno (GD Direito)
Duarte Diniz (GD Direito)
Mike Tadjer (Perpignan)
Lionel Camergue (Arcachon)
José Madeira (Grenoble)
Kevin Batista (Floirac)
Steevy Cerqueira (Chambery)
Jose M. Rebelo de Andrade (Agronomia)
Duarte Torgal (GD Direito)
Martim Bello (Cascais)
João Granate (GD Direito)
António Cerejo (CDUL)
Manuel Picão (GD Direito)
Rafael Simões (CDUL)
Thibault de Freitas (Floirac)
David Wallis (CF “Os Belenenses”)
Nicolas Martins (Angoulême)
João Belo (CDUP)
Pedro Lucas (CF “Os Belenenses”) Samuel Marques (Carcassone)
Jerónimo Portela (GD Direito)
Joris Moura (Valence Romans)
Tomás Appleton (CDUL)
Pedro Battencourt (Oyonnax)
José Lima (Narbonne)
António Vidinha (Cascais)
Rodrigo Marta (Dax)
Vincent Pinto (Pau)
Raffaele Storti (Beziers)
Nuno Sousa Guedes (CDUP)
Manuel Cardoso Pinto (Agronomia)
Simão Bento (Stade Montois)