Pedro Lucas, Electrical and Computer Engineering student and Técnico Rugby player , was selected to join the Portuguese Rugby team “Os Lobos” (“The Wolves”), which will qualify for the 2023 Rugby World Cup (RWC 2023) in France.
Portugal finished the 2021 Rugby Europe Championship, which forms part of the 1st round of the qualification process for the Rugby World Cup, in 3rd place, with 14 points, the same as Romania, which ranked 2nd, and Spain ranked 4th.
The 1st game of the 2nd round of the qualification process for the World Cup took place last Sunday, February 6. Georgia and Portugal drew 25-25. Pedro Lucas started the game on the bench, but in the first minutes of the 2nd half the coach Patrice Lagisquet decided to pick him. “Playing for the Portuguese Rugby Team is always very special, especially a qualifying tournament for the world championship”, recalls the Técnico student. “I feel pressure to play well in order to help the team win, but I also feel that I am representing all Portuguese people – not just those who follow rugby – and I think that is what brings me a special feeling”, he adds.
“Os Lobos” will play against Romania this Saturday, in Bucharest, at 3.30 pm. “It will a be very difficult game. The team is very good and the stadium atmosphere is always very tense, however we have been training hard and we are prepared to make a good performance and to finish the game with the objective accomplished”.
The Portuguese team will play against the Netherlands on February 26, against Spain on March 13, and will host Russia on March 19.
Pedro Lucas stresses that it would be very special if the Portuguese team return to France, 16 years after the first participation, in 2007.
“It’s very hard to balance rugby and academics”, says Pedro Lucas. “I talk to my professors about these situations and we try to arrange an alternative date for me to do my exams. My friends share their class notes with me and help me with other things that are necessary”, he shares.
The Técnico student Raffaele Storti (Industrial Engineering and Management) is also part of the team “Os Lobos”, as well as the two Técnico alumni Jerónimo Portela and João Granate. The athletes will do their best to qualify for the RWC 2023.