Six Nations Rugby has today announced that it will be staging an Under-20 Summer Series, hosted by the FIR, staged in Italy, and split across venues in Verona and Treviso.
Before the World Rugby Under-20 Championship returns in 2023, Six Nations Rugby has confirmed its commitment to support the rugby pathway for the next generation of rugby talent, by staging the event this summer.
Supported by World Rugby, and involving each of the Six Nations Rugby Unions, South Africa, and Georgia, the Under-20 Summer Series will be made up of two pools, three rounds and will end with cross-pool matches.
Ireland are drawn in Pool A alongside England, South Africa and France, with matches held at the Payanini Centre in Verona.
Pool B will be made up of Scotland, Wales, Georgia and hosts Italy, with all games played at the Stadio di Monigo in Treviso.
Every game of the Under-20 Summer Series will be streamed via Six Nations Rugby U-20 YouTube channel, meaning fans around the world will have the opportunity to watch some of the best teams and brightest rugby stars take to the pitch.
French, Italian and Georgian commentary options will also be available when these sides are playing.
Commenting on the announcement, Julie Paterson, Director of Rugby at Six Nations Rugby, said: “Six Nations Rugby is committed to providing the best possible rugby pathway to allow Unions, nations, players, and coaches to develop, and the chance to stage an U-20 Summer Series is an exciting opportunity to support this commitment.
“The absence of a World Rugby U-20 Championship this year means South Africa and Georgia will also be competing in the Series, which will provide added opportunities for teams to test themselves against new opposition.
“Italy, as a host nation for the series, is testament to the Federation’s vision to grow rugby at all levels in the country, which is showing rewards on the international and domestic stage.
“It has been a huge collaborative effort to offer a Summer Series to the teams and Unions, and huge thanks needs to go to the clubs and leagues for their support to give players the opportunity to represent their countries this summer.”
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont stated: “Under-20 tournaments have proven to be a successful pathway for young talents in our Unions to flourish, gain international experience and prepare for Test rugby.
“Before the global World Rugby Under-20 Championship and Trophy return next year, we are delighted to support our Unions and Six Nations Rugby in delivering the U-20 Summer Series, a fantastic opportunity for promising rugby players to compete at the highest level.”
FIR President Marzio Innocenti added: “Italy’s such a great place for hosting elite sports events and everybody at FIR is thrilled to host the U-20 Six Nations Summer Series.
“Alongside Six Nations Rugby, we chose the Veneto region, one of the cradles of Italian rugby, to offer fans sixteen matches, showcasing the very best of international youth rugby, in Europe and beyond.
“Future international stars will get a unique stage in Treviso and Verona and put their hands up ahead of the Rugby World Cup in 2023.
“For every Italian who loves the game, and there are many, the Summer Series is an occasion not to be missed.
“For traveling fans, this is a great chance to combine rugby and tourism – visiting some of the most iconic places that our country has to offer, from the Arena to Piazza San Marco, passing through Piazza dei Signori.
“I would like to thank Verona Rugby and Benetton Rugby for passionately welcoming our proposal to host the U-20 Six Nations Summer Series, an event that will put Italy, for two weeks, at the core of the rugby world.”
UNDER-20 SIX NATIONS SUMMER SERIES
Pool A: France, Ireland, England, South Africa
Pool B: Scotland, Wales, Georgia, Italy
IRELAND FIXTURES –
France v Ireland, Payanini Centre, Verona, Friday, June 24, 8pm
Ireland v South Africa, Payanini Centre, Verona, Wednesday, June 29, 8pm
Ireland v England, Payanini Centre, Verona, Tuesday, July 5, 8pm
Play-Offs (Cross-Pool Matches), Stadio di Monigo, Treviso, Tuesday, July 12, tbc
- Match 1 (4th Pool A vs 4th Pool B) – 12.30pm
- Match 2 (3rd Pool A vs 3rd Pool B) – 3pm
- Match 3 (2nd Pool A vs 2nd Pool B) – 5.30pm
- Match 4 (1st Pool A vs 1st Pool B) – 8pm