Following the defeat of the team against Wales in their first match of the Rugby World Cup, the coach highlighted that there are many options for the next match when it comes to picking out the starting team.
“Of course we want to count on everyone, but our group is not 15 or 23 and they all have a lot of quality”, highlighted João Mirra.
“I’m not saying this as a cliché. It has been brutally difficult to choose the starting 23 for the games due to everyone's commitment and quality. And when we came here, it was the same to make the list of 33, because we trust everyone”, he stressed.
Alongside Martim Belo, who started against Wales, in a position in which José Rebelo de Andrade was left out of the squad for the World Cup due to injury and José Madeira missed his debut in the competition due to muscle pain, the coach took advantage the Cascais player to prove his words.
“An example of this was Martim Belo. He wasn't a starter on this team, he played and competed at a very high level. He is a young player, but when there is quality, age is less relevant”, explained João Mirra.
The Portuguese team took part in a recovery training session at the Parc des Sports, in Perpignan, following the first defeat against Wales28-8, in their debut game at the France2023 World Cup.
The ‘wolves’ now begin preparing for their clash against Georgia, scheduled for Saturday, at 1:00 pm (Lisbon time), in Toulouse.
The coach admitted that, despite the defeat against Wales, the team's performance has created a “a positive outlook” for the next challenge, but recalled that the last time they faced Georgia, the 'wolves' lost “by 20 or so points” (38-11).
However he added that that Portugal will aim “to compete and to win”.
“I would be a hypocrite if I said no. We are going to compete and, this time, to win. It is obvious that we do not control the result, only the process, but we are looking for a victory”, he concluded.
The France 2023 Rugby World Cup kicked off on September 8 and runs until October 28.