THE selection Portuguese rugby from Sunday, to revalidate the title in the UEFA European Under-20 Championship, in Coimbra, despite the new format of the competition raising unexpected difficulties.
Portugal faces a French regional selection of New Aquitaine (Sunday), the Netherlands (Wednesday) and Spain (Saturday, April 6), but it is precisely the French team that shuffles the accounts of the remaining five teams due to the lack of knowledge of its real value.
"It is a mystery for everyone and since we are the first to face them, we do not have the possibility to manage our group according to the level they effectively present," Portuguese coach Luis Pissarra told Lusa news agency.
Instead of playing simple qualifiers, as in previous years, the six teams were divided into two groups of three teams, each facing the three teams from the opposite group and competing in a single league table.
Still, the coach who led Portugal to the title in 2017 and 2018 points to the "same goal", which is also worth the qualification for the Junior World Trophy, which is held from July 9 to 21 in Brazil.
"This format means that every game is played in the limit, in search of making as many points as possible and without doing any kind of management", explained Pissarra, confident in the quality of his group of players, who is "very well physical "and gives" all the guarantees "to withstand the competition's requirement.
Portugal join group A with Russia and Romania, teams that will face the congeners of group B, Spain, Holland and French regional selection of New Aquitania.