July 2024 Tests: Chile vs Hong Kong – ARN Guide

For the first time, Chile will host Hong Kong. The match on Saturday is The Condors Homecoming; it comes nine months after Chile's Rugby World Cup debut. Chile showed a willingness to play attacking rugby despite regularly facing notable opponents from Argentina, England, Japan and Samoa.

The new Rugby World Cup cycle begins for Chile against Hong Kong, with South America 3 and Asia 2 facing each other. Both teams are contenders for the 2027 Rugby World Cup. In the qualification process, Hong Kong qualifies directly, while Chile has a more difficult path ahead. This is precisely the fact that has not impressed the South American rugby community; there is a feeling of injustice, as other reasons dictate an easier path.

Chile vs Hong Kong is a game particularly suited to those interested in the expansion of the 2027 Rugby World Cup to 20-24 teams. It is a first look at two teams that have a good chance of being at Australia 2027.

  • Pablo Lemoine has selected a team without regulars Iñaki Ayarza, Matías Dittus, Rodrigo Fernández and Martín Sigren, contributing to a selection focused on Selknam.
  • Full-back Luca Strabucchi will make his friendly debut for Los Cóndores.
  • In Martín Sigren's absence, Clemente Saavedra will captain Chile. He will play his 25th international match.
  • In their only previous meeting, Hong Kong defeated Chile 13-06 in the 2017 Nations Cup.
  • Of the 2024 starters, Domingo Saavedra and Santiago Videla competed against Hong Kong in 2017.
  • Hong Kong substitutes Ben Higgins and Kyle Sullivan started against Chile in 2017.
  • Hong Kong defeated the United Arab Emirates 52-05, Malaysia 70-06 and South Korea 67-07 in June.
  • 11 starting players were retained from the win against South Korea: R Cinnamond, Z Cinnamond, C McCullough, J Hrstich, J Sawyer, L van der Smit, PJ Laidler, M Avitabile, H Sayers, T Hill, S Brien.

Chile's World Cup debut brought new attention to The Condors. Chile are now under pressure to qualify for Australia 2027 again. The opening match of the tour in Hong Kong will give the Asian team valuable insight into the level required. The previous meeting in 2007 is irrelevant; Chile was a purely amateur team then. Pablo Lemoine's men have played against the best at a World Cup and Chile is running a high-performance program. Playing conditions look very good; partly cloudy weather with mild temperatures. ARN predicts a Chilean victory by 12+ points.

1 Javier Carrasco, 2 Diego Escobar, 3 Iñaki Gurruchaga, 4 Santiago Pedrero, 5 Javier Eissmann, 6 Clemente Saavedra (captain), 7 Raimundo Martínez, 8 Alfonso Escobar, 9 Marcelo Torrealba, 10 Tomás Salas, 11 Nicolás Garafulic, 12 Santiago Videla, 13 Domingo Saavedra, 14 Cristóbal Game, 15 Luca Strabucchi

Replacement: tba

1 Rory Cinamond, 2 Calum Scott, 3 Zac Cinamond, 4 Callum McCullough, 5 Patrick Jenkinson, 6 Joshua Hrstich (captain), 7 James Sawyer, 8 Luke van der Smit, 9 Pat Joe Laidler, 10 Matteo Avitabile, 11 Harry Sayers, 12 Tom Hill, 13 Nathan de Thierry, 14 Sebastian Brien, 15 Matthew Worley

Substitutes: 16 Alexander Post, 17 Ben Higgins, 18 Faizal Solomona Penesa, 19 Kyle Sullivan, 20 Tyler McNutt, 21 Pierce Mackinley-West, 22 Jack Combes, 23 Paul Altier

Date: Saturday, 06 July
Venue: Estadio Fiscal (Talca, CL)
Begin: 3pm (CL)
Weather forecast: Partly cloudy, 14 degrees Celsius. Wind SW 8 km/h
Broadcasts: Disney+;

Referee: Gonzalo de Achaval (Argentina)
Assistants: Fernando Torres (Spain); Francisco Gonzalez (Uruguay)

DIRECT COMPARISON (1): Hong Kong 1, Chile 0, STREAK Hong Kong +1
14.11.2007 – Hong Kong 13:06 Chile (Hong Kong)