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Kenya set to host World Rugby U20 Trophy

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World U20
Kenya in action against Uruguay at the 2019 World U20 Trophy in Brazil
  • Kenya has hosted the tournament previously in 2009
  • The tournament will be staged at Nyayo Stadium
  • Africa has hosted the tournament on two occasions only

World Rugby has confirmed that Kenya will host the second tier 2023 World Under-20 Trophy. South Africa is set to stage the first tier World U20 Championship, before it moves to Kenya. South Africa will host between 24 June-14 July and Kenya between 15-30 July respectively.

Kenya has previously staged the Africa Under-20 Cup, christened the Barthes Cup on two occasions; in 2019 and 2022.

The 2023 edition will be the second time that South Africa welcomes the future stars of the game after 2012 when the Junior Springboks won on home soil.

Played over five match days in the Western Cape Wineland regions of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Wellington, the world’s best 12 nations have been placed into three pools and will all hope to clinch the coveted title and succeed two-time defending champions France. The team finishing last will be relegated to the World Rugby U20 Trophy next year.

The World Rugby U20 Championship 2023 participating teams are: Argentina, Australia, England, Fiji, France, Georgia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and Wales.

Kenya hosts tournament for the second time 

Following the U20 Championship’s conclusion, Kenya will host the World Rugby U20 Trophy for the second time, having previous staged the tournament in 2009. It will be the third time the tournament has been played in Africa with Zimbabwe having acted as hosts in 2016.

Eight teams will battle over four match days at the Nyayo National Stadium with the eventual winner being promoted the U20 Championship in 2024. This will be Kenya’s third appearance at the tournament, having featured in 2009 and 2019.

The World Rugby U20 Trophy 2023 participating teams are: Scotland (relegated from the U20 Championship in 2019), Kenya (hosts), Hong Kong (Asia), Samoa (Oceania), Spain (Europe), Uruguay (South America) and two teams still to qualify through regional competition from North America and Africa.

The two age-grade tournaments are a key part of the international federation’s investment in increasing the competitiveness of global rugby by providing a meaningful pathway to the elite level for talented young players. The showpiece tournaments, first held in 2008, have seen almost 1,500 players go on to make their test debut after playing on this stage, including 28 Rugby World Cup winners.

Thrilled that Africa is hosting 

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.

“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.”

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 Junior Trophy Pools

Pool A: Scotland, Uruguay, Canada or USA, Africa 2

Pool B: Spain, Samoa, Kenya, Hong Kong

Pool Matches

MD1: Saturday 15 July 2023

MD2: Thursday 20 July 2023

MD3: Tuesday 25 July 2023

Final & Ranking Matches

MD4: Saturday 30 July 2023

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