How a Wiganer helped Uruguay pull off Rugby World Cup shock

Uruguay sprung a major surprise by pulling off a stunning 30-27 victory over Fiji - with a Wiganer in their coaching ranks.

Wednesday, 25th September 2019, 10:12 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th September 2019, 11:12 am
Wigan's Craig White

Craig White has been working with the South American minnows ahead of the World Cup tournament. He has previously worked with some of the big names in rugby union and was performance coach of the British and Irish Lions.

Incredibly, when he was at Wasps, he was one of four ex-St John Fisher pupils on their coaching staff with Shaun Edwards, Paul Stridgeon and Mark Bitcon.

Former England forward Ben Kay tweeted: "Big shout for The Performance Jedi - former Wasps, Tigers, Wales & Lions Craig White who’s been working with Uruguay."

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The South American minnows, who were playing their first game of the tournament, condemned the Pacific Islanders to their second defeat in five days to leave their Pool D qualification hopes in tatters.

Uruguay's thrilling upset was a fitting way to mark the opening of the new Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium, which was built as a reminder to the people of the coastal fishing town which was almost wiped off the map by the earthquake and tsunami of 2011.

Prince Akishino, brother of the Japanese Emperor Naruhito, was in the 16,000-seater stadium to witness Uruguay's first World Cup win since 2003.

Uruguay scored only two tries in the whole of the 2015 World Cup but they had three by half-time in Kamaishi as they put the wretched Fijians to the sword.

Coaches Edwards, Stridgeon (Wales), Andy Farrell (Ireland) and player Owen Farrell (England) are other Wiganers involved at the World Cup.