Coupe du monde de rugby 2023 : « Mon cœur sera partagé », le dilemme de Rodrigo Capó Ortega avant France-Uruguay

Arrivé en France (à Millau) en 2001, l’ancien seconde ligne de l’Uruguay, vainqueur du Top 14 à deux reprises, n’est jamais reparti. Aujourd’hui, il ne veut pas choisir entre les deux sélections qui s’affrontent jeudi soir à Lille.

Ce match jeudi soir entre la France et l’Uruguay doit être spécial pour vous, n’est-ce pas ?

Yes, of course. As I often say, I am Uruguayan and proud to be. I don’t forget where I come from. But France is the country that has given me everything. It has offered me the opportunity to fulfill my dream, to live my passion, to shape myself as a man, to create my family. Thursday will be a beautiful celebration. My heart will be divided, it will be 50/50.

What is the current level of Uruguayan rugby?

Rugby is becoming increasingly popular in Uruguay. Everyone is working well. We are trying to get closer to the professional world. I have proof of this with our third consecutive World Cup (the fifth in total). Last time, we even beat Fiji. It’s tangible. We can see the progress. The match against France is the best way to enter the competition. By playing against the host country, a global rugby power, we will be immediately immersed in it.

Comment est structuré le rugby en Uruguay ?

There is the national team with players under contract. Almost 100%. Most of them play in the South American League (franchises). That’s where the highest level is. Some boys also play in France in Top 14 (Manuel Leindekar in Bayonne, Santiago Arata Perrone in Castres) and Pro D2. After that, there are amateurs in small clubs who try to make their way to professionalism and national teams.

Quel est l’objectif de votre choix ?

Contre la France et la Nouvelle-Zélande, on va essayer d’apprendre au maximum. Ces deux rencontres doivent nous servir pour la suite, à aborder de la meilleure des façons les matches que l’Uruguay vise durant cette Coupe du monde. À savoir l’Italie et la Namibie.

Vous serez à Lille ?

Yes, I will be there for sure.

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Quelle est votre relation actuelle avec l’équipe nationale ?

I have a few contacts. But for now? I haven’t gone to see my friends (the base camp is in Avignon) due to my work obligations. I am counting on the post-match in Lille.

Que faites-vous précisément à Castres ?

I am in charge of public relations for the club. At one point, I needed a break from rugby and wanted to explore something else. This job involves a lot of interaction with people, and I enjoy that aspect.

Personne ne vous a sollicité dans le pays ?

Non, non, non, non, non.

Is it a regret?

I don’t know if it’s a regret. I have my own life, and I am happy as I am. If something had been offered to me, it would have been welcomed. But it didn’t happen. It’s not a big deal. Life goes on. I won’t be any less or more happy just because Uruguay didn’t approach me.

Quelle est votre opinion sur ce match ? La France prévoit de faire beaucoup de changements. Est-ce que cela affecte l’Uruguay d’une manière quelconque ?

No. The best team is the one that steps onto the field. Even by rotating players, France has a superb team. They also need to score the maximum bonus points. They will give it their all. Not to mention the players who will want to prove themselves, show that they deserve their spot. France will bring a good intensity. It’s going to be great.

Est-ce qu’une équipe vous a marqué depuis le début de la compétition ?

Jusqu’à présent, je ne peux pas dire que j’ai été impressionné par une équipe en particulier. Il y a eu des matchs intéressants et d’autres moins captivants. Cependant, dans l’ensemble, c’est une Coupe du monde agréable jusqu’à présent.

What memory do you have of your 2003 World Cup in Australia?

It was a magical moment. For all high-level athletes, participating in the World Cup is… It’s not something everyone gets to do. When you have this opportunity, you live it to the fullest. I have great memories of this World Cup in Australia. Moreover, I had the chance to score a try. These are things you cannot forget.

Est-ce que vous avez l’occasion de retourner dans le Sud-Aveyron, là où votre carrière en France a commencé à Millau ?

I haven’t been back there for a while, but I still keep in touch. These are people who will always be a part of me. They have been incredible. They are a part of my story. Millau is a city that I love, a club that will remain in my heart for the rest of my life.