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.
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament
A selection of the best pictures from England's historic World Cup triumph in Paris as they beat Canada 21-9
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Women's World Cup, the opening round of the Top 14 and the Rugby Championship