World Rugby U20 Championship preview

It’s time for some of the best young rugby players on the planet to take centre stage at this year’s edition of the World Rugby u20 Championship in Manchester. An experienced Scottish squad will be keen to make their own mark on a tournament taking place right on their doorstep. They’ll need to come through a clash with the Auld Enemy among others though and England – who have contested six of the previous eight finals at this level – will be looking to make home advantage count.

How it works

There are three pools with four teams each playing the other sides in their own pool once. The three pool rounds will all feature six matches played on the same day – three at the AJ Bell Stadium and three at the City of Manchester Stadium.

At the end of the pool stage all 12 sides are aggregated together for seedings for the semi-finals, with the top 4 contesting the tournament trophy; the next 4 competing for a best finish of 5th place; and the bottom 4 contesting the 9th to 12th place playoffs.

It’s entirely possible there may be three sides each with 3, 2, 1 and 0 wins. This means for sides picking up 1 win Bonus Points and Points Difference (first tie-breaker if sides are level on points won) will likely decide who goes into the middle tier. For those with 2 wins the side with most BPs / best PD will play in the top quartet.

TV coverage

UK – Sky Sports
Ireland – TG4 Ireland
Wales – S4C
France – Canal+
South America – ESPN Sur
South Africa – SuperSport

The tournament will also be streamed live on www.worldrugby.org/u20 (but be warned this is likely to be geoblocked in the UK.)

Tickets

Tickets are for all three games on each matchday at each stadium and cost £11 for all sessions except the top tier semi-finals (£16.50) and the top tier finals (£21.80). Junior tickets are £6.00 for every session.

Buy tickets here

Scotland’s pool

England (2nd in 2015 tournament)
Australia (5th)
Scotland (8th)
Italy (11th)

Scotland beat both England and Italy in the u20 Six Nations a few months ago. They also put in a reasonable performance when losing to Australia in the 2015 tournament – but it’s worth noting that the Ozzies have just beaten defending world champions New Zealand.

Scotland’s fixtures

Tuesday 7th June 2016
AJ Bell Stadium, Salford

France v Argentina 3.15
Scotland v Australia 5.30
New Zealand v Georgia 7.45

Saturday 11th June 2016
Manchester City Stadium, Manchester

New Zealand v Ireland 1.30
Wales v Georgia 3.45
Scotland v England 6.00

Wednesday 15th June 2016
Manchester City Stadium, Manchester

Scotland v Italy 3.15
Ireland v Georgia 5.30
South Africa v France 7.45

Semi-finals will all be played on Monday 20th June at AJ Bell Stadium and Manchester City Stadium.

Finals will all be played on Saturday 25th June at AJ Bell Stadium and Manchester City Stadium.

Scotland’s history

During the 2015 edition of the tournament, played in Italy, Scotland made it into the middle tier of the playoffs for the first time since the competition’s inception. Aside from an opening night shellacking at the hands of New Zealand, the young Scots were competitive throughout but did still only emerge with one win across the three weeks.

Pool matches
Scotland 10 – 68 New Zealand
Scotland 20 – 24 Ireland
Scotland 29 – 6 Argentina
5th place playoff semi-final
Scotland 21 – 31 Australia
7th/8th place playoff
Scotland 9 – 17 Ireland

The side’s 8th place finish was the best achieved by a Scotland U20 squad since the tournament began in 2008:

2015 – 8th
2014 – 10th
2013 – 10th
2012 – 9th
2011 – 10th
2010 – 10th
2009 – 9th
2008 – 10th


Next up at On Top Of The Moon we’ll be taking a look at the Scotland squad that will be competing in Manchester.

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