Capo Ortega explains RWC withdrawal

Date published: July 1 2015

Rodrigo Capo Ortega has released an official statement to clarify his decision to withdraw from Uruguay's Rugby World Cup squad.

The veteran second-row had been the subject of much speculation after pulling out of the World Cup for personal reasons.

In the wake of Daniel Leo's revelations to Planet Rugby over clubs pressurising players from second tier countries to retire from Tests, Capo Ortega's withdrawal was regarded as the latest example.

However the lock insists he is staying at home in France for personal reasons, with his wife due to give birth in the coming months.

In a statement on the Castres website, he said: "The decision that I took belongs to me alone and I think it's the right one. It's the best thing for me and my family. My wife is pregnant and I didn't want to leave her alone and miss this magic moment. I want to be by her side and that of my child. It wasn't an easy decision but in the end I chose not to play at the World Cup to stay here in Castres. If I'm not playing at the World Cup, it's my decision, and my decision alone.

"At no point was I put under any pressure by Castres. Last year I went to play with the national team in the qualifiers against Russia when the club was struggling, that shows it's my decision. What's more, I'm on very good terms with the Uruguayan federation, so there are no problems on that side."

"In our squad we have players in lots of different national teams, both compulsory and not: I'm referring to the Barbarians and the players in the Sevens team for example. So you can't say we hold players back," said new coach Christophe Urios.

"I think it's a source of pride for the club, and for the players to participate in this sort of global event. And at the same time, it's a great experience. So we spoke to Rodrigo, and it's his decision and his alone. But I am surprised that we are being accused of withholding our players."