LONDON (Reuters) - Teros are resourceful birds from Uruguay’s grasslands with greater strength in adversity than their slight appearance would suggest.
They are an apt symbol for a Rugby World Cup team noted for their never-say-die attitude and tough tackling who like to attack and bring their backs into the game when they face opponents of a similar standard.
That will be far from the case in Pool A where England, Australia, Wales and Fiji will each be looking to boost their points difference as they vie for the two quarter-final berths.
There is virtually no chance of Uruguay notching a win, which they managed in their two previous appearances with a 27-15 victory over Spain in Scotland in 1999 in both nations’ first match in the tournament followed by a 24-12 victory over Georgia in Australia in 2003.
Their two-test warm-up series on tour in Japan in August may have helped the Teros to bring their game a little closer to the level of the big sides they will face at the World Cup but it will still mean South America’s second rugby nation will be outclassed and essentially playing for pride.
Uruguay will have to make the most of the scraps afforded by Wales in their Sept. 20 opener in Cardiff, the Wallabies at Villa Park followed by England, who crushed them 111-13 in 2003, in Manchester to show their skills.
They may find a bit more room to move against Fiji, whose second string side Fiji Warriors beat the Teros 30-22 and 42-22 in a two-match series at the Charrua stadium in Montevideo in May.
Uruguay are noted for strong scrummaging and the halfback combination of Agustin Ormaechea and Felipe Berchesi, the flyhalf who is also an accomplished place kicker.
Ormaechea is the team’s link with the past as the son of former number eight Diego Ormaechea, the oldest player to have taken part in a World Cup at 40 in 1999.
Berchesi is a professional with French second division experience in a team of amateurs who lost their leading player, Castres forward Rodrigo Capo, a veteran of the 2003 tournament, when he withdrew from the team last month citing family reasons.
Uruguay’s biggest asset, though, is coach Pablo Lemoine, a former Bristol and Stade Francais prop and veteran of the country’s two previous World Cup teams who has overseen progress on the field and greater support for the Teros off it since taking charge in 2012.
Editing by John Mehaffey