Ranked 16th in the World, Portugal last appeared in the RWC in 2007, when it was last held in France! Known as Os Lobos, they were the final qualifiers for this year’s competition, for only the second time in their history.

Rugby was very much a student Sport for many years in Portugal, without really making much impact outside of the Universities, it was only the late 1950’s when they formed a National League. But qualifying for the RWC in 2007, inspired a generation of younger players, who have been working their way up and believed in a stronger future for Portugal’s National side. This was reflected in them winning the Under 20 Championship for three years. 

Frenchman Patrice Lagisquet, was part of the French National Coaching side before moving to become Head Coach of the Portuguese team in 2019. Knowns as the Bayonne Express , his style of rugby as a player bodes well for this young Portuguese team, play with ball in hand, and to entertain!

Portugal might be the seen as the outsiders in their pool – with matches against Wales (an old score from 1994 to settle), Australia, Fiji, and Georgia, but this side plays with passion and ambition. Looking at past recent games, these will be matches to watch of pure enjoyment of open play. With one of the strongest back threes in Tier two Rugby, and a good balance of youth and experience, including scrum half Samuel Marques, whose cool head and reliable kick rate on conversions, could be a huge help to this exciting Portuguese side. 

As there are more than one million Portuguese living in Paris and across France, Os Lobos can be sure of a strong wave of supporters when they are on the pitch.  

Captain: Tomas Appleton, with his charismatic smile, is a player who inspires his team.

Players to Watch: Raffaele Storti – a super talented winger, he was top try scorer in the U20 Championship. 

For more information on Portugal Rugby www.fpr.pt

For full details follow: www.rugbyworldcup.com

What to Eat & Drink whilst watching Portugal


A relatively small country, Portugal has a variety of foods to tempt. Ideal for match day nibbles are Pasteis de Bacalhau, or Salt Cod Fritters. Might sound slightly niche but are irresistible!  If you’re lucky to live in Cardiff, Bristol or Bath get to one of the Nata Shops – www.nataco.uk  or you can buy on line at www.delicias-uk.com

For something a little more filling, why not make a Francesinha – a rib packing toasted sandwich from Porto which includes layers of meats, such as steak, ham and sausage, topped with cheese (sometime with a fried egg too!)  and then finished with a beer sauce – sounds perfect rugby food – ideal also for hangover brunches – (napkins are required!)

An easy but hearty dish to get ready ahead of the match ready for half time to soak up the beers, is Arroz de Pato (Duck Rice) from the Alentejo region. Simply shredded duck baked with rice, topped with spicy sausage and orange slices – always a winner, despite what might be happening on the pitch. 

Portuguese cheeses are not that easy to find in the UK but if you can find some Serra de Estrela, a sheep’s cheese from the highest mountains in the country, often eaten with a spoon or the herbal notes of Azeitao produced south of Libson. Sometimes available from www.lafromagerie.co.uk or try Portuguese online Deli www.portugaliaonline.co.uk


Beer:  Two brands to seek out are Super Bock and Sagres, the former available in several UK supermarkets. 


Portugal is home to 14 main wine regions, within which there is a huge variety of sub regions and  styles, not to mention more than 250 grape varieties planted! Thanks to this diversity, there is wine to suit all palates from Sparkling to Vinho Verde, Alvarinho to complex Douro reds (from the classic Port varieties) and of course onto Madeira and the Azores. 

The Azores, an archipelago in the mid-Atlantic, far from the Portuguese coast, makes delightful wines from volcanic soils. Rugby Playing Wine Maker Antonio Macanita at The Azores Wine Company  (www.antoniomacanita.com )makes a great range from single varietal whites such as their Verdelho, zinging with acidity and attractive minerally, through to a perfect summer Rosé and a red blend from 12 different varieties! Available from www.amathusdrinks.com

Portugal has long supplied many entry level wines to British supermarkets, giving a good value range. One that ticks all the boxes for a Rugby party, when nothing too serious is required – and complete with brilliant label – try The Sardine Submarine (just £7.99) available at Waitrose. Uncomplicated, easy drinking red! /www.waitrose.com

The beautiful Douro Valley is famous not only for Ports, and also for powerful complex reds – but the region also produces tempting crisp whites such as Gouveio from Quinta da Romaneira – lots of crisp apples and a real textural wine. Available www.leaandsandeman.co.uk

White Port and Tonic makes a great alternative to G&T as a pre match sharpener. But for post-match analysis, time to pour something different (and definitely without tonic!) – and a unique and different style of white port. Once tasted – Always reordered! A real revelation in a glass – a true meditation wine.  Andresen 10 Year old White Port. Available www.laithwaites.co.uk

If there is a particular style of Portuguese wine you are trying to track down, do check out the portfolio at www.raymondreynolds.co.uk a brilliant wine importer with some of the best names in Portugal, such as Quinta dos Roques and Quinta do Vale do Meao. they will be happy to let you know of local stockists.

For more about Portuguese Wines: www.winesofportugal.com