Chile qualify for Rugby World Cup for first time amid drama in Colorado

There will be a new name at next year’s Rugby World Cup after Chile defeated the United States in dramatic circumstances in Colorado.

Chile qualified for the Rugby World Cup by defeating the US in a two-legged play-off. (Photo by Javier Torres/AFP via Getty Images)
Chile qualified for the Rugby World Cup by defeating the US in a two-legged play-off. (Photo by Javier Torres/AFP via Getty Images)

Trailing 22-21 from the first leg of the Americas qualifying play-off in Santiago, the Chileans fought back to win the return 31-29 for a 52-51 aggregate triumph.

They will now go into Pool D at next year’s World Cup in France alongside England, Japan, Argentina and Samoa.

Chile, who lost 45-5 to Scotland A last month, trailed 19-0 after 30 minutes in Colorado but clawed their way back at Infinity Park.

The Chileans didn’t lead in the tie until there were five minutes left of the second leg. Even then, they received a late scare when referee Luke Pearce awarded the US a kickable penalty but reversed his decision due to a neck roll.

It is the first time Chile have qualified for the Rugby World Cup and they are the first new team in the tournament since Russia in 2011.

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