The Championship will allow for a more defined pathway for younger players into senior and international rugby and provide a springboard into the annual World Rugby U20 Championship that is currently missing.
The annual Championship will be played in one country and will comprise a round-robin format where all teams will play each other once across a three-week period. The top team after the three-round, six match tournament will be declared the winner. In 2024 the tournament will take place on the Gold Coast on Australia’s eastern seaboard in April (exact dates to be confirmed).
SANZAAR Chairman Hamish McLennan stated, “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. 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.”
SANZAAR CEO Brendan Morris stated, “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.”
“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.”