World Rugby U20s: World Rugby U20 Championship Returns | South Africa to host in 2023 and 2024

The World Rugby U20 Championship will return in 2023 for the first time since 2019.


Covid and associated travel issues forced both the Championship and the Trophy below it to be cancelled in 2020, 2021, and 2022, but the global celebration of U20 rugby will return this June and July.


South Africa will host the World Rugby U20 Championship, and has been awarded the tournament for 2024 as well. The 2023 tournament will run from the 24th June to the 14th July, with 12 sides competing, the 11 best from 2019 plus the side promoted from that year’s World Rugby U20 Trophy.


The 2023 World Rugby U20  Trophy will take place immediately after the Championship, with eight teams competing in Kenya from the 15th to the 30th July.


It is just the second time that South Africa has hosted the World Rugby U20 Championships, having hosting the 2012 edition where the Junior Springboks for the title.


The 12 teams competing are divided into three groups of four, with 2019 champions France, who have won the last two tournament, drawn in Pool A alongside Wales, six time champions New Zealand, and Japan, who were promoted to the Championships after winning the 2019 Trophy.


Pool B features Australia, who only lost by a point to France in the 2019 final, as well as three time champions England, Ireland, who reached the 2016 final, and Fiji.


Hosts South Africa are in Pool C and will be feeling confident as they seek a second global title after their superb performances in last year’s U20 Six Nations Festival. Alongside them are Argentina, Georgia, and an Italy side whose U20s have been on the rise in recent times.


World Rugby U20 Championship Pools


Pool APool BPool C
FranceAustraliaSouth Africa
New ZealandIrelandItaly


The side that finishes in 12th place in the Championships will be relegated to the World Rugby U20 Trophy for 2024. In 2019 that side was Scotland, and they will therefore be in action in the 2023 World Rugby U20 Trophy in Kenya.


There is still some qualification work to be done for the Trophy, but the draws have been made. Scotland are in Pool A alongside Uruguay, USA or Canada, and the Africa 2 qualifier. The North America and Africa regional qualifiers are yet to be completed. Pool B sees Spain, Samoa, and Hong Kong drawn alongside the host nation, Kenya.


World Rugby U20 Trophy Pools


Pool APool B
Africa 2Hong Kong


Commenting on the return of the Championships, World Rugby Chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont, said:


“We are thrilled to unveil our two exciting hosts for the World Rugby U20 Championship and U20 Trophy taking place later this year. South Africa and Kenya will provide the perfect stage for the return of our flagship U20 competitions that play such a crucial role in the development of young talents within our unions.


“The U20 Championship and Trophy have been hugely popular since their inception 15 years ago and have proven successful with countless stars moving on to play test rugby and shine on the biggest stage and many of them will be on display when Rugby World Cup 2023 kicks off in September.


“Africa is a significant growth region for rugby and I would like to thank our friends in Kenya and South Africa respectively for hosting in rugby’s bicentenary year. We look forward to seeing the 20 teams inspiring the African continent with breath-taking action.”


Meanwhile SA Rugby President Mark Alexander added: “South Africa have a proud tradition and excellent track record of hosting world-class events and we are ready to welcome the next generations of rugby’s future to our shores in July, and again next year.


“We have the infrastructure and proven expertise to deliver excellent rugby events and, combined with fantastic backing from our passionate supporters, I have no doubt we will deliver two more very successful World Rugby U20 Championships.”


World Rugby U20 Championships Schedule:


Matchday 1: Saturday 24th June (Pools)

Matchday 2: Thursday 29th June (Pools)

Matchday 3: Tuesday 4th July (Pools)

Matchday 4: Sunday 9th July (Semi Finals)

Matchday 5: Friday 14th July (Finals)


World Rugby U20 Trophy Schedule:


Matchday 1: Saturday 15th July (Pools)

Matchday 2: Thursday 20th July (Pools)

Matchday 3: Tuesday 25th July (Pools)

Matchday 4: Sunday 20th July (Finals)

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