Pool Stage Fixtures Announced for the World Rugby U20 Championships

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World Rugby U20 Championship
TBILISI, GEORGIA - JUNE 16: The World Rugby U20 Championship trophy during the World Rugby U20 Championship Final Captain's Photocall at the Narikala Fortress on June 16, 2017 in Tbilisi, Georgia. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The World Rugby U20 Championships will kick off on Wednesday 30 May with the the pool stage fixtures having been announced. The competition, held in Georgia in 2017, was won 64-19 by New Zealand in a one sided final against England.

The tournament, now in its tenth year, will be held in France, also the host nation of the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Fixtures will be held in Beziers, Narbonne and Perpignan between 30 May and 18 June.

Pool Stage Fixtures Announced for World Rugby U20 Championships

The teams in each pool were drawn based on last year’s final placings at the end of the competition in Georgia. Defending champions New Zealand have been drawn against Australia, Wales and the 2017 World Rugby U20 Trophy winners Japan in Pool A.

Pool B contains last year’s runners up England, who are also joined by Argentina, Scotland and Italy. While in Pool C, France are joined by Ireland, Georgia and South Africa.

New Zealand begin Defence against Japan

The opening round, on Wednesday 30 May, will see holders New Zealand take on Japan and finalists England will host Argentina – both ties to be played in Narbonne.

The Japanese will be involved for the first time since 2016, having finished twelfth that year and moved down into the trophy competition.

This year though, they will be looking to make improvements on their best ever finish – tenth in 2015. Conversely, following last year’s twelfth placed finishers Samoa replace Japan and will battle it out in the World Rugby U20 Trophy 2018.

Australia will meet Wales, as they did in 2017 and South Africa will play Georgia. The Scots face Italy and France will open their campaign against Ireland.

Excitement Continues to Grow

Speaking to World Rugby, the governing body’s chairman, Bill Beaumont said of this year’s competition: “The scene is set for a superb World Rugby U20 Championship in France. We have three excellent host cities, great venues and a compelling match schedule.”

It will be fascinating to see who will join the likes of Sam Warburton, Nemani Nadolo, Sam Whitelock, David Pocock and Yoann Maestri in graduating from the tournament to become test stars

You can follow the World Rugby U20 Championships right here at Last Word on Rugby. We will be bringing you a run down of all the teams ahead of the competition kicks off, as well as round by round news and analysis before the culmination in what should be another epic final.

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