The Portuguese rugby team goes to the France2023 World Cup with the aim of achieving its first victory in the competition, 16 years after its only other appearance.

The 'Wolves' were the last team to qualify and will compete in Group C, against Australia, Wales, Fiji and Georgia, but they arrive in France with ambitions to better their result from their previous World Cup campaign.

In what is expected to be the most balanced group of the World Cup, Portugal´s opponents occupy world 'ranking' places between seventh and 11th, Portugal at 16th runs 'on the outside', but dreams of surprising the favourites in the group.

Portugal has set their sights on Georgia (11th), an 'old acquaintance' from the European Championship, an opponent with whom they drew (25-25) in qualifying, in Tbilisi, in February last year, and face each other in the second round, on September 23, in Toulouse.

However, the Portuguese team has not beaten Georgia since February 2005, and in February of this year they lost 38-11 in the European final held in Badajoz.

Fiji (seventh place) is another opponent against whom the 'wolves' hope to have a surprise result, in the last round of Group C, on October 8, but the islanders have demonstrated a clear improvement in performance.

The South Pacific team even beat England (30-22) in London, for the first time in its history, in the last preparation match for the World Cup, at the end of August.

Australia (ninth place) and Wales (10th) have a theoretically more accessible 'ranking' than the islanders, but both teams in the past have made it to the later stages of the competition.

The Welsh are the Wolves' first opponent, on September 16, in Nice, and the Wallabies, whose secondary team defeated the Portuguese team (30-17) in August, are the third opponent, on October 1, in Saint-Étienne.

In 2007, under the command of Tomaz Morais, the Portuguese team had four defeats, but gained their first-ever point in the competition, when they lost to Romania (14-10), in the last round, by a difference of less than seven points, which earned them a defensive bonus point.

In 2007, Portugal suffered significant defeats against Scotland (56-10) and New Zealand (108-13), in a match where the 'All Blacks' scored 16 tries.

A highlight moment of that tournament was a try scored by Rui Cordeiro against the powerful New Zealand, although the Wolves managed to score points against all the opponents they faced.

Heavy defeats were then considered 'normal' for a team made up almost exclusively of amateur players.

In 2023, the 'wolves', coached by Patrice Lagisquet, have a base of 17 professional players, who play in the French championships, among the 33 called up for the World Cup.

Although 16 of the players called up still combine studies or jobs with playing rugby, the Portuguese team arrives in France with the ambition of complicating life for the most powerful teams in their group.

The France 2023 World Cup takes place between September 8th and October 28th.