The Ireland Under-20s have been drawn in Pool C alongside South Africa, England and Scotland for the 2011 IRB Junior World Championship. The tournament will take place in Italy from June 10 to 26 next year.
The International Rugby Board has announced the dates, pools and venues for the 2011 IRB Junior World Championship in Italy.
The key global player development tournament, which will see the future stars of the game hone their skills, will be hosted in the Veneto region from June 10 to 26, bringing together 12 international teams and 312 players for an event that will deliver a festival of international rugby and culture.
Four venues will host the tournament with Stadio Mario Battaglini in Rovigo, Stadio Comunale di Monigo in Treviso and Stadio Plebiscito in Padova hosting double-header matches across four match days.
Stadio Euganeo in Padova will host the final on matchday five on June 26.
The playing schedule will be announced in due course.
The 12 teams will play in three pools:
Pool A: New Zealand, Argentina, Wales, Italy
Pool B: Australia, France, Fiji, Tonga
Pool C: South Africa, England, Ireland, Scotland
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “The IRB Junior World Championship has grown to become a major event on the global rugby calendar and is strategically important both for the IRB and participating Unions.
“It plays a key role in developing the talent of some of the best up-and-coming players and referees in the world, many of whom have progressed to represent their countries at the very highest level.
“I have no doubt the FIR will deliver a festival of rugby and Italian culture that will help spread awareness and interest in the game throughout Italy and attract new players, coaches, referees and fans to the rugby family.”
Three players involved in the 2010 Championship have since made the step-up to the Test arena, South Africa’s Patrick Lambie becoming the most recent with his debut against Ireland, following in the footsteps of Ireland Under-20 captain Rhys Ruddock and Michael Toloke of Tonga.
The Ireland Under-20s won the RBS U-20 6 Nations title and finished ninth in the Junior World Championship last season.
Under new head coach Mike Ruddock, the current crop of Irish U-20s opened their campaign last week with a 29-10 friendly win over Italy at Donnybrook.
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