Wales face Uruguay in their opening game of the Rugby World Cup this Sunday. Here are 15 things you never knew about the country ranked 22 in the world.
1. Uruguay is the only country in the world to begin with the letter ‘u’. Apart from Uganda. And the United States. And the United Kingdom. And a few others that begin with the letter ‘u’.
2. 79% of Welsh people don’t know where Uruguay is on a map. The other 21% said that they didn’t care.
3. Uruguay is famous for its corned beef plantations. Corned beef seeds are sown in March and harvested in September. Over 3 million people are employed in the corned beef industry.
4. Uruguay was totally uninhabited by humans until 1963 when a plane crashed and the survivors either ate each other or reproduced. It now has a population of 463 people.
5. The great earthquake of 1982 saw the country split entirely in two. It was patched back together by three nuns, one of which went on to become the Prime Minister.
6. The Uruguayan Tourist Board run open top bus tours around the capital Montevideo. The tour takes in the Great Corned Beef labelling plant and a street where British comedian Jim Davidson once bought a rug.
7. The Uruguayan rugby team was formed in 1991, featuring players who had been converted from playing netball. Their motto is ‘Venimos , jugamos rugby, y luego nos vamos a casa para la cena’ which means ‘We come, we play rugby, and then we go home for tea’.
8. The main Uruguayan currency is called the biffon.
9. Uruguayans speak Uruguayan.
10. The Uruguayan city of Palamero is famous for its liberal use of wheel clamps. Disabled people have found themselves clamped for waiting at a pedestrian crossing. It costs $5 to be unclamped.
11. The best-selling Uruguayan newspaper, The Chump, was once banned for showing pictures of H from Steps in his birthday suit.
12. The captain of their rugby team, Ramos Fernandez, was once a finalist on Uruguay’s Got Talent. He performed magic with a lady who looked like Debbie McGee but wasn’t actually Debbie McGee – she just looked like her.
13. Their version of X Factor is called U Factor.
14. The face that appears on their flag was drawn by Tony Hart who also went on to create plasticine legend Morph.
15. Um. That’s all I can think of.