SANZAAR launches new Under-20 Rugby Championship

Thu, Jul 20, 2023, 3:56 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson

SANZAAR has confirmed an under-20 version of the Rugby Championship will commence in 2024.

It comes after the return of the U20 World Championships in 2023, with the Junior Wallabies finishing fifth.

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South Africa was the highest-place finisher of the four teams in third, with New Zealand (seventh) and Argentina (ninth) behind the Australians.

The tournament will kick off on the Gold Coast in April, with teams set to play each other once across a three-week period.

“It has long been recognised that the missing link in our junior pathways was the existence of a SANZAAR international championship for up-and-coming talent," SANZAAR and RA Chairman Hamish McLennan said in a statement.

"I am really excited that SANZAAR is now committing to this new championship.   “The SANZAAR member unions and I are confident its establishment can only strengthen rugby pathways for young players in the southern hemisphere.

"Exposure to additional international matches can only benefit the players in terms of experience and adapting to the demands of the top level of rugby.”

It mirrors the format of the Six Nations U20s, taken out by eventual world champ finalists Ireland.

“This is a vital step in the progression of young talent across our member unions as importantly it will provide extra development opportunities each year for players, coaches, team management and match officials, and will allow for better preparation into the World Rugby Championship," SANZAAR CEO Brendan Morris added.

“There is still some detail to put in place and we will announce this as we approach the kick-off of the inaugural tournament.

"The member unions are all committed to ensuring the U20 tournament is a best practice event that develops the young talent they have at their disposal.”

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