Fresh from Chile’s historic Rugby World Cup debut at France 2023, Emiliano Caffera is back in Europe again in his new role as Brazil head coach with Os Tupis joining USA, hosts Spain and Canada in the La Vila International Rugby Cup in Villajoyosa.
Caffera, who was Chile’s defence coach at France 2023, will take charge of Brazil for the first time on Saturday when they face the USA Eagles at Estadio El Pantano in the opening match of the World Rugby-funded tournament with a second match to come against either Spain or Canada on 18 November.
While Caffera is still getting to know his new players, he certainly has the experience to lead Brazil’s development given his playing and coaching days.
After 35 tests for Uruguay and playing at Rugby World Cup 2003 in Australia, Caffera began working with his national team alongside his former team-mate Pablo Lemoine.
Under Lemoine, he was an integral part of the development and growth of the Uruguayan high-performance plan, the building of the Charrúa Centre, a key element in the taking-off of Uruguayan rugby. He then followed Lemoine to Chile where a new process took Los Cóndores to France 2023.
“I was named after an open selection process,” explained Caffera, hours before his debut as an international head coach.
Before his confirmation, he had meetings with the Brazilian union, Sudamérica Rugby and World Rugby. He was finally announced as head coach soon after returning from Rugby World Cup 2023.
“We still haven’t set goals, I am only getting together with the players in Spain,” he says about his start in the job.
“The first week will be about getting to know them, see how they work, see a few things they already do well and others than can work better. It will be about meeting players and then setting the goals, understanding what they want to achieve.”
In his new role Caffera will not only be head coach of the Brazil men’s team but also the women’s national team, As Yaras. He will add more staff members to the existing group to ensure there is growth in the high performance plans of a country that is dreaming big.
“What is sure is that I will work hard to try to take Brazil to the highest they can aspire to,” he said.
“I’ve seen the last few games of the men’s and women’s teams and there is huge potential. That is my big goal, taking Brazil as high as we can and work hard on their high performance.”
The expansion of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 in England to 16 teams and the recent announcement that the Men’s Rugby World Cup 2027 in Australia will feature 24 teams means that more opportunities exist for qualification for nations like Brazil.
“With more spots available, once the qualification processes are confirmed, we will fight for qualification. The goal and plans are aimed at growing the HP base for both genders.”
Brazil will continue to have Josh Reeves with the team in the short-term, although the director of rugby will now be able to focus solely on that role, leaving Caffera in charge of the national teams.
“I will have those few days of getting to know everybody, of meetings, not trying to interfere too much in the team or the planning for the game against the Eagles.”
Once this tour is over, Caffera will have only one day before As Yaras tackle Portugal in Sao Paolo where he will repeat the process of getting to know the players and increasing his involvement with the team for the second test of the series.