Cape Town - The Junior Springboks have been drawn in a challenging pool
with hosts, Georgia, France and Argentina for the 2017 World Rugby Under-20 Championship.
The tournament will be hosted in Tbilisi and Kutaisi, from
31 May to 18 June next year.
The SA U-20 team, who finished fourth earlier this year in
Manchester, England, have been drawn in Pool C and will kick off their campaign
on Wednesday, 31 May against France. They will then meet Georgia on Sunday, 4
June, and Argentina on Thursday, 8 June, in their other pool games.
The Junior Springboks defeated France 40-31 in the pool
stages in Manchester, but they went down 19-13 in their round-robin match
against Argentina and then suffered a 49-19 defeat against Los Pumitas in the
bronze playoff.England, who were crowned the champions this year, have been
drawn in Pool A with Australia, Wales and Samoa, while 2016 runners-up,
Ireland, will meet New Zealand, Scotland and Italy in Pool B.
Samoa have been promoted to the U20 Championship after winning
the U20 Trophy in Zimbabwe this year. They replace Japan in the competition.
The clashes in Pools A and C and the playoff rounds will be hosted in Tbilisi,
while the Pool B games will be played in Kutaisi.
"The World Rugby U20 Championship is proving to be an
enormously popular and important tournament and it plays a key developmental
role in preparing the future stars of the game," said World Rugby Chairman Bill
"Rugby is growing at an incredible rate in Georgia and
interest is at an all-time high. I have no doubt that we'll see passionate and
energetic crowds in Tbilisi and Kutaisi next year as all 12 teams put on a
masterclass for fans.
"With preparations continuing for Rugby World Cup 2019, many of the players we
see in Georgia could also feature on the greatest stage in Japan in just under
three years’ time."
Meanwhile, SA Rugby has confirmed that the process of finding a new Junior
Springbok coach is well underway. An announcement on the new coach will be made
in due course.
Junior Springbok pool fixtures at the 2017 World Rugby
U20 Championship (Avchala Stadium, Tbilisi, Georgia) - (SA Time):
Wednesday, 31 May: 17h30 – SA v France
Sunday, 4 June: 20h00 – SA v GeorgiaThursday, 8 June: 15h30 – SA vs Argentina