Germany pull off shock win over Uruguay

Berlin (AFP) - Germany pulled off a shock 24-21 last-minute win over Uruguay on Saturday in the first of three autumn test matches against South American opposition.

Uruguay stormed into an early lead, scoring a try after just 90 seconds and went 15-3 ahead before hosts Germany rallied in Frankfurt.

A powerful second-half performance by Germany meant the scores were locked at 21-all before Christopher Hilsenbeck converted the winning penalty just before the final whistle.

The win over Uruguay, who are ranked 19th in the world, is a major scalp for Germany, ranked 26th.

Uruguay made the last of their three World Cup appearances at the 2015 tournament in England, while Germany have never appeared at a finals.

This is the first time the German Rugby Union (DRV) are staging a three-match autumn test series.

Next Saturday, Germany play Brazil in Heidelberg before hosting the Brazilians again seven days later in Leipzig.

The series is to prepare Germany for the Rugby Europe Championship -- a new competition, a grade below the Six Nations -- against the likes of Russia, Georgia, Romania, Spain and Belgium in early 2017.

The Rugby Europe Championship acts as a qualifier for the 2019 World Cup in Japan.