World Rugby U20 Championships: Matchday 1 Preview, Schedule, & Team News

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Coach Logic

The World Rugby U20 Championships kick off on Tuesday with all twelve teams in action.


Argentina are this year’s hosts, the tournament returning to South America for the first time since 2010, when New Zealand were the champions for the third time in a row.


The Baby Blacks are probably the favourites for this year’s tournament, possessing a huge number of players with Super Rugby experience, especially in the backs.


They are in a fearsome group though with 2012 champions South Africa, who will certainly make them work for any success. Scotland and Georgia, the 2017 hosts, make up the remainder of the group. Georgia kick off their campaign at 5pm against New Zealand in Santa Fe tomorrow, while Scotland open the tournament in Rosario at 2.30pm against South Africa.


The tournament is split between Santa Fe and Rosario for the group stages before moving to Rosario for the semi final and final stages of the tournament where the Racecourse Stadium and Club Old Resian will host the games.


Reigning champions France will be among the favourites too, their win on home territory last year sees them drawn in Group A alongside the hosts, Argentina. Argentina open their account against Wales at 5pm on Tuesday in Rosario, while France face Fiji in the same stadium at 7.30pm.


Fiji won last year’s World Rugby U20 Trophy tournament, earning them promotion to the Championships while Japan, 12th place finishers last year, were relegated last year. That same fate awaits the side finishing in 12th place again this year, making these group games absolutely vital as sides look to avoid finishing in the bottom four seeds and ending up in those 9th-12th place semi finals.


England, meanwhile, are in Group B and will be hoping to reach a stunning 7th final in a row. Titles have come in 2013, 2014, and 2016, but they will be hoping to go a step further this year after successive final defeats to New Zealand and France.


They must get through a tough group first though, first up for England are an Ireland side that beat them in the opening game of the U20 6 Nations (7.30pm BST kick off in Santa Fe), before facing rapidly improving Italy on Saturday, with their final group game on Wednesday 12th June against Australia, who earlier this year beat New Zealand.


All of the teams have named their sides for the opening clashes on Tuesday afternoon. England are led by Northampton Saints’ former Bedford School outside centre, Fraser Dingwall. Dingwall partners Cameron Redpath of Sale Sharks, the former Sedbergh School man making up one of the most eye-catching midfields in the tournament.

Outside of them are Northampton Saints’ Ollie Sleightholme and Gloucester’s Tom Seabrook on the wings, while Bath’s Tom de Glanville shows his versatility by starting the opener at full back. Ollie Fox starts at scrum half with Saracens’ Manu Vunipola, who recently made his senior club debut, at fly half.


Up from Gloucester’s Olly Adkins, Sale Sharks’ Nic Dolly, and Leicester Tigers’ Joe Heyes make up the front row. Look out though for Alfie Barbeary on the bench as a replacement hooker, the Bloxham School man will be sitting his A Levels whilst out in Argentina.


In the second row is Saracens’ dominant Joel Kpoku alongside Northampton Saints’ Alex Cole, while in the back row Wasps’ Tom Willis is at 8 with Aaron Hinkley of Gloucester at openside. Worcester Warriors’ Ted Hill, who has a senior England cap to his name, is at blindside.


For Ireland Ulster’s Iwan Hughes at full back will be in for an interesting one, the former Bristol Bears man will be facing many familiar opponents in the England ranks. So too Sale Sharks’ Ciaran Booth on the bench, who will know all about Redpath and Dolly in England’s starting ranks, plus the likes of Luke James, Connor Doherty, and Aaron Reed on the bench.


Scotland face an almighty challenge against South Africa and hand a debut to Newcastle Falcons number 8 Tom Marshall. He is one of five Exiles in the starting side, including fellow forwards Ewan Ashman of Sale Sharks at hooker and Racing 92’s Ewan Johnson in the second row. Out in the backs Wasps’ Cameron Anderson starts at outside centre, with London Scottish’s Matt Davidson at full back, and former Wellington College flyer Rory McMichael on the right wing. There are plenty more Exiles on the bench too, Cardiff Met University’s Will Hurd, Durham University’s Jack Hill, Kwagga van Niekerk of the Lions in South Africa, Bristol Bears’ Nathan Chamberlain, and Robbie McCallum of Spanish side Complutense Cisneros.


Wales also have a number of familiar faces in their lineup to face the hosts, not least Leicester Tigers’ Tommy Reffell at openside. Meanwhile at full back is the former Clifton College man Ioan Davies, while the bench includes former Millfield man Rhys Davies, and Bristol Bears’ Nick English.


All games live on with highlights and the final on ITV, all Wales games shown on S4C.


World Rugby U20 Championship Groups:


Group A Group B Group C
Argentina Australia Georgia
Fiji England New Zealand
France Ireland Scotland
Wales Italy South Africa


Home Nations Team News:



15 Tom de Glanville (Bath Rugby), 14 Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints), 13 Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints, captain), 12 Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks), 11 Tom Seabrook (Gloucester Rugby), 10 Manu Vunipola (Saracens), 9 Ollie Fox (Bath Rugby), 1 Olly Adkins (Gloucester Rugby), 2 Nic Dolly (Sale Sharks), 3 Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), 4 Joel Kpoku (Saracens), 5 Alex Coles (Northampton Saints), 6 Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors), 7 Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby), 8 Tom Willis (Wasps).

Replacements: 16 Alfie Barbeary (Wasps & Bloxham School), 17 Kai Owen (Worcester Warriors), 18 Alfie Petch (Exeter Chiefs), 19 Will Capon (Bristol Bears), 20 James Kenny (Exeter Chiefs), 21 Richard Capstick (Exeter Chiefs), 22 Rusiate Tuima (Exeter Chiefs), 23 Josh Basham (Newcastle Falcons), 24 Sam Maunder (Exeter Chiefs), 25 Luke James (Sale Sharks), 26 Connor Doherty (Sale Sharks), 27 Arron Reed (Sale Sharks), 28 Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons).



15 Iwan Hughes (Ballynahinch/Ulster), 14 Angus Kernohan (Queen’s University/Ulster), 13 Liam Turner (Dublin University/Leinster), 12 Stewart Moore (Malone/Ulster), 11 Jonathan Wren (Cork Constitution/Munster), 10 Jake Flannery (Shannon/Munster), 9 Craig Casey (Shannon/Munster), 1 Josh Wycherley (Young Munster/Munster), 2 Dylan Tierney-Martin (Corinthians/Connacht), 3 Thomas Clarkson (Dublin University/Leinster), 4 Charlie Ryan (UCD/Leinster, captain), 5 Ryan Baird (Dublin University/Leinster), 6 David McCann (Banbridge/Ulster), 7 John Hodnett (UCC/Munster), 8 Azur Allison (Ballymena/Ulster).

Replacements: 16 Declan Adamson (Clontarf/Leinster), 17 Michael Milne (UCD/Leinster), 18 Charlie Ward (Clontarf/Leinster), 19 John McKee (Old Belvedere/Leinster), 20 Ronan Watters (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), 21 Niall Murray (Buccaneers/Connacht), 22 Thomas Ahern (Shannon/Munster), 23 Ciaran Booth (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby), 24 Colm Reilly (Buccaneers/Connacht), 25 Cormac Foley (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), 26 Ben Healy (Garryowen/Munster), 27 Sean French (Cork Constitution/Munster), 28 Rob Russell (Dublin University/Leinster).



15 Matt Davidson (London Scottish), 14 Rory McMichael (Heriot’s), 13 Cameron Anderson (Wasps), 12 Grant Hughes (Stirling County), 11 Jack Blain (Heriot’s), 10 Ross Thompson (Glasgow Hawks, vc), 9 Roan Frostwick (Currie Chieftains), 1 Murphy Walker (Stirling County), 2 Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks), 3 Euan McLaren (Ayr), 4 Ewan Johnson (Racing 92), 5 Cameron Henderson (Stirling County), 6 Marshall Sykes (Ayr), 7 Connor Boyle (Watsonians, captain), 8 Tom Marshall (Newcastle Falcons).

Replacements: 16 Rory Jackson (Edinburgh Academy), 17 Andrew Nimmo (Glasgow Hawks), 18 Will Hurd (Cardiff Metropolitan University), 19 Mak Wilson (Melrose), 20 Ross Bundy (Stirling County), 21 Jack Hill (Durham University), 22 Kwagga van Niekerk (Lions), 23 Murray Scott (Watsonians), 24 Teddy Leatherbarrow (Sale Sharks), 25 Nathan Chamberlain (Bristol Bears), 26 Robbie McCallum (Complutense Cisneros), 27 Ollie Smith (Ayr), 28 Lomond MacPherson (Watsonians).



15 Ioan Davies (Cardiff Blues), 14 Rio Dyer (Dragons), 13 Aneurin Owen (Dragons), 12 Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler (Ospreys), 11 Ryan Conbeer (Scarlets), 10 Cai Evans (Ospreys), 9 Harri Morgan (Ospreys), 1 Kemsley Mathias (Scarlets), 2 Dewi Lake (Ospreys, captain), 3 Ben Warren (Cardiff Blues), 4 Morgan Jones (Scarlets), 5 Jac Price (Scarlets), 6 Lennon Greggains (Dragons), 7 Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers), 8 Jac Morgan (Aberavon/Scarlets).

Replacements: Will Griffiths (Dragons), Garin Lloyd (Ospreys), Rhys Davies (Ospreys)
, Tom Devine (Dragons), Nick English (Bristol Bears), Teddy Williams (Cardiff Blues), Ed Scragg (Dragons), Iestyn Rees (Scarlets), Dafydd Buckland (Dragons), Max Llewellyn (Cardiff Blues), Deon Smith (Dragons), 
Tomi Lewis (Scarlets).


Schedule (All Times BST):


Matchday 1 – Tuesday 4th June:


Racecourse Stadium, Rosario

South Africa v Scotland – Group C, 2.30pm

Argentina v Wales – Group A, 5pm

France v Fiji – Group A, 7.30pm


Club de Rugby Ateneo Inmaculada, Santa Fe

Australia v Italy – Group B, 2.30pm

New Zealand v Georgia – Group C, 5pm

England v Ireland – Group B, 7.30pm


Matchday 2 – Saturday 8th June:


Racecourse Stadium, Rosario

South Africa v Georgia – Group C, 2.30pm

France v Wales – Group A, 5pm

New Zealand v Scotland – Group C, 7.30pm


Club de Rugby Ateneo Inmaculada, Santa Fe

Australia v Ireland – Group B, 2.30pm

Argentina v Fiji – Group A, 5pm

England v Italy – Group B, 7.30pm


Matchday 3 – Wednesday 12th June:


Racecourse Stadium, Rosario

Georgia v Scotland – Group C, 2.30pm

France v Argentina – Group A, 5pm

South Africa v New Zealand – Group C, 7.30pm


Club de Rugby Ateneo Inmaculada, Santa Fe

Italy v Ireland – Group B, 2.30pm

Wales v Fiji – Group A, 5pm

England v Australia – Group B, 7.30pm


Matchday 4 – Monday 17th June (Semi Finals):


Racecourse Stadium, Rosario

5th v 8th, 2.30pm

2nd v 3rd, 5pm

1st v 4th, 7.30pm


Club Old Resian, Rosario

10th v 11th, 2.30pm

9th v 12th, 5pm

6th v 7th, 7.30pm


Matchday 5 – Saturday 22nd June (Finals):


Racecourse Stadium, Rosario

5th Place Final, 2.30pm

3rd Place Final, 5pm

World Rugby U20 Championship Final, 7.30pm


Club Old Resian, Rosario

11th Place Final, 2.30pm

9th Place Final, 5pm

7th Place Final, 7.30pm

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