World Rugby

World Rugby Under 20 Championship -- Everything You Need To Know

World Rugby Under 20 Championship -- Everything You Need To Know

The World Rugby U20 Championship is nearing kick-off in South Africa on June 24th. This is the first championship since 2019 due to the covid pandemic.

Jun 13, 2023 by Philip Bendon
World Rugby Under 20 Championship -- Everything You Need To Know

International Rugby’s brightest young talent will travel to South Africa for the annual World Rugby U20 Championship. 

This will be the first time the tournament has been run since 2019 due to the covid pandemic. 

Kicking off on June 24th at Paarl Gimnasium Stadium in the Boland area of the Western Cape, approximately 45 minutes from Cape Town, the competition will run until July 14th. The first match will feature Argentina and Italy before arch-rivals Ireland and England meet at the same venue at 12.30 pm. 

The final will take place at Athlone Stadium, a twenty-minute drive from Cape Town’s city centre. The Stadium has a 34,000-seat capacity and is home to The Cape Town Spurs (formerly Ajax Cape Town) soccer team. 

Competing Teams 

Twelve nations will be represented at this year’s championship. 

Five of the traditional “Six Nations” from Europe’s top rugby nations in Ireland, England, Italy, France, and Wales, will be competing, with Scotland being the only team of the six not to qualify. 

In Scotland’s place is Georgia, who are fast becoming one of the top rugby nations in the world. 

The four SANZAAR nations have all qualified and are hosts South Africa, Argentina, New Zealand, and Australia.

Completing the competition are South Pacific island nation Fiji and Japan, who are the only Asian representatives. 

Previous Winners

France enters the tournament as back-to-back champions, having won the 2018 and 2019 editions of the competition. 

New Zealand, however, are the most successful nation in the competition’s history, winning a remarkable six of the twelve championships. 

Other winners of the Championship include England, who have won twice, whilst hosts South Africa have won one title. 

In fact, the last time South Africa won was in 2012, when they last hosted the tournament. Notable players from that winning team include Handre Pollard, Steven Kitshoff, and Pieter-Steph Du Toit, who were members of the 2019 Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok team. 

Pollard would play two more U20 Championships in 2013 and 2014 and was named World Rugby Junior Player of the Year in 2014. He would make his senior Springbok debut the same season and has since accumulated 649 points in 63 test matches for South Africa. This impressive resume has seen him become the highest-paid player in the game today. 

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Pre-Tournament Favourites 

Hosts South Africa enter the Championship as one of the hot favourites to win the title, but they certainly won’t have things all their own way. 

New Zealand and Australia have recently completed a two-match series which ended with one win each and will both be exceptionally tough to beat. 

From the northern hemisphere, Ireland joined their senior team in completing a Six Nations Grand Slam this season and have a real chance at winning a first-ever title. 

France, who finished second in the Six Nations, has an incredible pedigree in the competition and a squad jam-packed with talent. 

Where To Watch 

Given the global nature of the Championship, there are several viewing options for rugby fans around the world.

Ireland – Eir Sport


Wales – S4C

China – Alisport

Australia – Fox Sports

South America – ESPN Sur

New Zealand – Sky New Zealand

France, Belgium, Switzerland, Monaco – FTV

Africa – SuperSport

Middle East – OSN

North America, including US Territories – NBC 

For all other regions not listed above, the action will be live-streamed on