Junior Boks to kick off World Rugby U20 Championship at Cape Town Stadium

The Junior Boks will look to improve on their bronze medal from 2023.

The Junior Springboks will face England, Argentina and Fiji in their pool matches when the World Rugby U20 Championship returns to South Africa in June and July.

The 12 best U20 teams will battle it out for global supremacy, with France defending the title they won in Cape Town last year, while the Junior Boks will look to improve on their bronze medal from 2023.

The tournament kicks off on June 29 in Cape Town at Cape Town Stadium and Athlone Stadium, with the next two pool match days scheduled for July 4 and 9. The play-offs – including the semi-finals for the top four sides – will be played on July 14, with the final and placing matches on July 19.

The venues for the matches will be the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch, as well as Athlone and Cape Town stadiums, and tickets – priced at R35 (for children 18 years old and younger), and R75 for adults – will be on sale from Ticketmaster from Friday, May 31. Tickets are for an entire match day and include three encounters at every venue.

The Junior Boks are in Pool C with England, Argentina and Fiji; Pool A consists of France, Wales, New Zealand and Spain; and Ireland, runners-up in 2023, Australia, Georgia and Italy are in Pool B.

SA Rugby CEO Rian Oberholzer said: “Last year’s tournament was an unforgettable experience and we’re expecting more of the same this year. With the recent U20 Rugby Championship, we saw how closely matched the four Sanzaar teams were, and it was the same in the U20 Six Nations, where England emerged victorious.

“To host the next generation of superstars next month is a great privilege and we can’t wait to welcome their families, friends and fans to South Africa.

“The U20 Championship plays an important role in the global rugby picture and is key in promoting and growing the game, while we are also excited to unearth the next generation of Springboks.”

The U20 Championship 2024 will be the first international competition to feature the three new law amendments implemented to promote ball in flow and diversity of attacking options, while supporting player welfare.

These are that players will no longer be put onside when an opponent catches the ball from a kick in open play and runs five metres, players must make an attempt to retreat; scrums will no longer be an option from free kicks; and the banning of the crocodile roll.

A package of six law trials will also operate, including the simplified red card sanction process, approved by the World Rugby Executive Board.

U20 Championship fixtures:

Saturday, June 29

Cape Town Stadium:

14:00: France v Spain

16:30: Ireland v Italy

19:00: South Africa v Fiji

Athlone Stadium:

14:00: England v Argentina

16:30: Australia v Georgia

19:00: Wales v New Zealand

Thursday, July 4

Danie Craven Stadium:

14:00: Ireland v Georgia

16:30: France v New Zealand

19:00: South Africa v Argentina

Athlone Stadium:

14:00: Wales v Spain

16:30: England v Fiji

19:00: Australia v Italy

Tuesday, July 9:

Athlone Stadium:

14:00: Ireland v Australia

16:30: France v Wales

19:00: South Africa v England

Danie Craven Stadium:

14:00: Argentina v Fiji

16:30: Georgia v Italy

19:00: New Zealand v Spain

Sunday, July 14:

Danie Craven Stadium:

14:00: 10th seed v 11th seed (match 19)

16:30: 9th seed v 12th seed (match 20)

19:00: 6th seed v 7th seed (match 21)

Cape Town Stadium:

14:00: 5th seed v 8th seed (match 22) *

16:30: 2nd seed v 3rd seed (semi-final – match 23)

19:00: 1st seed v 4th seed (semi-final – match 24)

Friday, July 19:

Athlone Stadium:

12:00: Loser Match 19 v Loser Match 20

14:30: Winner Match 19 v Winner Match 20

17:00: Loser Match 21 v Loser Match 22

Cape Town Stadium:

14:00: Winner Match 21 v Winner Match 22 *

16:30: Loser Match 23 v Loser Match 24 (bronze medal match)

19:00: Winner Match 23 v Winner Match 24 (final)

This article first appeared in SA Rugby magazine.

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