″Portugal can plan an epic campaign″
Tomaz Morais believes in an even more “epic” campaign for Portugal than in 2007
Former Portuguese rugby coach Tomaz Morais said that Portugal can make an even more “epic” campaign in the 2023 World Cup than in 2007, when he guided the Wolves in the competition, also in France.
The Portuguese team secured their presence in a Rugby World Cup for the second time in their history, after drawing with the United States (16-16), in the last game of the play-off tournament, and the current general director of football training at Sporting believes that the experience gained in 2007 could boost the new presence of the “wolves” in France.
“For having lived that moment, Portugal can plan an epic campaign. It has the Portuguese community to support and [Patrice] Lagisquet is a French rugby lord, which helps even more. It could be an even bigger moment than the 2007 Mundial, because people already know the wolves, it will have more dimension”, predicted the former coach in declarations to the Lusa agency.
The comparisons, however, end there, since Morais considers that “it would not be fair for that generation or for this one” to enter into parallelisms, since “in sport, the moments are incomparable”.
“They have different contexts and circumstances. Different statutes, because the other was a very home team and this one has the possibility, thankfully, of having players at the highest level. We can’t compare”, refuted Morais.
Still, the former international player and coach highlighted a positive similarity between the two generations.
“Both have the DNA of Portuguese rugby, its identity, culture, values, attitude, race and that is what has to be evident abroad. Thankfully, it is passed from generation to generation”, he learned.
On the other hand, because “this generation is made up of a mixture of very experienced players and kids of enormous quality and technical value, trained in Portugal”, Tomaz Morais believes that the selection can aspire to more than in 2007, when it lost all the four meetings.
“It’s growing and, being from a small country, it’s easier to mobilize to make an unforgettable World Cup. And it has a group that can allow a victory, against Georgia or the Fiji Islands. Japan and Italy, it could happen at the World Cup”, analyzed Morais.
This is only the second time that Portugal will compete in the Rugby World Cup, after the unique and historic participation, in 2007, also in France.
The Portuguese team will be part of Group C of the World Cup, with Wales, Australia, Fiji and Georgia.
The 2023 Rugby World Cup takes place in France from 8 September to 28 October.