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Oceania U20 Championship confirmed for Sunshine Coast

Thu, 19/05/2022, 4:57 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Oceania Under 20 Championship has been confirmed for the Sunshine Coast. Photo: Getty Images

Oceania Rugby and Rugby Australia have confirmed the upcoming Oceania U20 Championships will be held on the Sunshine Coast from July 1-10.

The tournament will see hosts Australia take on newcomers Argentina, New Zealand and Fiji at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

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“The U20 programme is an important part of our High-Performance system as this showcases the next generation of future stars for our teams in Gold," RA CEO Andy Marinos said in a statement.

“I know that Nathan Grey and his team supported by the RA HP Unit and SRC’s have been hard at work this year as we look to build momentum in this golden decade ahead of us.

“With a home RWC in 2027 it is the young men now and in future years that could be showcasing their talents in a home World Cup. It provides a great aspirational pathway and fantastic that we will have this on home soil.

“As evidenced by the recent announcements Rugby Australia have always been committed to hosting top class events at all levels and this three-year deal is a great step for that for Queensland and the Sunshine Coast region.

“Having the championship remain in Australia can only benefit our Junior Wallabies side playing in front of home supporters, friends and family."

The tournament has become the major warm-up tournament ahead of the U20 World Championships, which will return in 2023.

The Junior Wallabies enter as defending champions after their heroics in 2019, which saw now established stars such as Angus Bell, Harry Wilson and Noah Lolesio upset New Zealand 24-0 to claim the title.

"The Oceania Rugby Under 20 Championship provides an invaluable pathway for players and officials in our region and has been sorely missed over the last two years," Oceania Rugby Interim General Manager Lemalu Wayne Schuster believes.

“Oceania Rugby is proud to be partnering with the Sunshine Coast Council to bring this amazing event to Queensland over the next three years and provide confidence for participating teams in planning and enhancing pathways to the regional event.”

“The championships would continue to position the region as a high-performance sports destination among Pacific nations and showcase our much-loved destination to a large television audience with an international broadcast,” Sunshine Coast Councillor Terry Landsberg said.

“Local Rugby fans would no doubt embrace any opportunity to attend clinics and open training sessions, we expect some fans may even drive up from Brisbane for this.

“The three-year partnership demonstrated Council’s commitment to the pathway program and strengthened Sunshine Coast Council’s relationship with Oceania Rugby and by extension World Rugby for future events.

“Council is excited to see the event grow over the next few years and that growth may accommodate more Pacific Island teams like Tonga and Samoa to return to the Championship event.”

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