Mexico get Rugby World Cup qualifying underway
March 25, 2012
Mexico's Erik Castillo celebrates one of their nine tries © Getty Images
Mexico got qualifying for Rugby World Cup 2015 underway in fine style on Saturday, routing Jamaica 68-14 in Mexico City.
Among a record crowd of 2,000 fans were International Rugby Board (IRB) boss Bernard Lapasset and former England No.8 Lawrence Dallaglio - a World Cup-winner in 2003 who is now serving as an ambassador for the tournament.
Mexico opened their NACRA Caribbean Championship account with an easy win, running in nine tries after Dallaglio delivered a pre-game speech to the hosts.
The game was refereed by South Africa's Craig Joubert, who also took the whistle for New Zealand's victory over France in last year's World Cup Final in Auckland.
The winners of the NACRA division - which also includes the Cayman Islands, Barbados, St Vincent, Trinidad & Tobago the Bahamas and Guyana - will progress to face their South American counterparts in the next round of qualifying.
"I have been impressed by the reach, enthusiasm and professionalism of rugby in this part of the world," Dallaglio said. "The quality of rugby was good, the support superb and this occasion really reinforces the values that draw so many people to our sport."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
ESPN looks at the forthcoming season of the Guinness PRO12 and assesses how each of the 12 teams will do
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch