WHICH international rugby league team is sponsored by a rapper? No word of a lie, it’s Uruguay.
Set to face Peru on June 11 at Newtown, Sydney as the curtain-raiser to Chile v El Salvador, Uruguay is a team full of surprises from a nation that consistently delivers the unexpected.
The South American newcomers will march into battle with the name of artist Royal El Latino across their backs.
Royal El Latino is the stage name for Miguel Falcon, who will in the next fortnight support Grammy Award-winners Bone Thugz n Harmony in Brisbane.
Falcon, whose family hails from Rivera in northern Uruguay, was a junior rugby league player with the Valleys Diehards, one of the sport’s oldest and most famous clubs in Australia.
He has previously played cameos for the combined Latin Heat (formed of all South and Central American heritages) at nines tournaments and was narrowly denied a try for Uruguay in last year’s GYG Latino Sevens at Cabramatta.
Though he will not represent Uruguay this time around, he is showing his support by chipping in to help outfit the team in their eye-catching uniform design.
He joins team major sponsor Tattoo Tears, run by Uruguayan Moldi Zeballos, to give the nation of three million people a distinctly ‘street’ look.
The sleeves are adorned by the Uruguayan Club of Sydney, in a partnership to promote cultural and social outlets for Latinos in the city’s west.
Uruguay is a nation built on defying expectations, having won two FIFA World Cups and qualification for last year’s Rugby Union World Cup, despite having a population an eighth the size of Australia.
Many do not realise Uruguay has an extremely high percentage of residents identifying as white Europeans, with almost 91 per cent of people surveyed in 2011 providing that response.
To catch Royal El Latino in action on the undercard to Bone Thugs n Harmony on Saturday, May 28 or discover any other details about the league-loving artist, be sure to follow him on Facebook.
Details for the Latino Rugby League Fiesta at Newtown on June 11 – featuring Uruguay, Peru, Chile, El Salvador, Colombia and Ecuador – can be found at this EVENT PAGE.
The efforts of the 100% volunteer-run Latin Heat Rugby League are supported by Guzman y Gomez Mexican Taquerias, S.H.I.E.L.D Security, Tattoo Tears, OneBigSwitch.com.au, Jani-King Cleaning, SeriousAboutRL.com, Rugby League Team Manager 2015 computer game, Retrocom Digital TV Specialists, Colombianos en Brisbane, Link Australia Student Services, Raw Juicery, SEMCAR Mechanics, Lichtnauer and Associates Accountants, Cabramatta Ink, Majestic Property Maintenance, and Darkside Studio Photography.