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Under-18 Six Nations Festivals Set For Italy And Wales

The Ireland U18 squad who took part in the 2023 U18 Women's Six Nations Festival

Pictured together are the Ireland Under-18 Women's squad that took part in last year's festival at Wellington College in England

Six Nations Rugby has announced the staging of Under-18 Six Nations Festivals for Men and Women in Parma, Italy, and Colwyn Bay, Wales, respectively this spring.

The third successive staging of the festivals will feature all Six Nations Unions in both festivals, as well as Georgia and Portugal in the U-18 Men’s Festival for the first time.

A key step on the development pathway for leading rugby players, the festivals provide an opportunity for some of the brightest young talent in the game to feature on the international stage.

The festivals will also provide a programme of development opportunities for coaches, analysts, and match officials from all Six Nations Unions, officiating during the festival (including Georgian and Portuguese officials in the U-18 Men’s Festival).

Each festival will be played under the community tackle height framework, and all matches will be available to watch on Six Nations channels.

Parma’s Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi will host the Under-18 Men’s Six Nations Festival, the first to be hosted in Italy. Tickets to all three match days (Saturday, March 30, Tuesday, April 3, and Sunday, April 7) will be free of charge.

Colwyn Bay’s Stadiwm CSM will host the Under-18 Women’s Six Nations Festival, the first to be hosted in Wales. Tickets will be available at all three matchdays, with adult tickets priced at £10, and £5 for spectators who are Under-16.

Oisin Minogue and Tom Bowen 12/4/2023

Ireland’s Oisin Minogue and Tom Bowen of Wales are pictured in action at the U-18 Men’s Six Nations Festival in 2023 ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Commenting on the Under-18 Six Nations Festivals, Julie Paterson, Director of Rugby at Six Nations Rugby, said: “The Under-18 Six Nations Festivals are a hugely important development platform for our players, coaches, support staff and match officials.

“They provide an opportunity to gain valuable experience at international level, whilst exposing our best young athletes to different cultures and experiences that are unique in our game.

The festivals are taking place for a third successive year, and are a real testament to the commitment Six Nations Rugby has to deliver an accelerated development pathway for all involved.

“We are delighted to welcome both Georgia and Portugal to the U-18 Men’s Festival this year too, as they will add to the competition, providing opportunities for all teams involved to test themselves against new opposition, and will benefit from the festival pathway in the same way as our six unions.

“We would like to thank both the FIR and WRU for hosting the respective festivals, which we believe will be a great showcase of rugby this spring.”

FIR President Marzio Innocenti commented: “The Under 18 Festival marks a crucial turning point in the development pathway of the Championship’s future stars.

“We’re glad to host the 2024 edition in Parma. The Lanfranchi Stadium hosts Zebre’s home matches and our Women’s Six Nations matches, and I couldn’t think of a better venue for our youngsters to live a thrilling competition that will create bonds and memories of a lifetime.”

Huw Bevan, WRU Interim Performance Director, added: “We are delighted that Six Nations Rugby have chosen Colwyn Bay to host the U-18 Women’s Six Nations Festival this year.

“We have fantastic history of bringing high profile events to North Wales, and we’re excited to continue our relationship with Conwy Council, and would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support.

“RGC is a hot bed for Women’s rugby, 12 players from this region have already been named in the extended Under-18 training squad earlier this month.

We see the U-18 Women’s Six Nations Festival as an essential stepping stone in the female rugby pathway, and there will be no better opportunity for players to use this as an opportunity to benchmark themselves against the very best talent in Europe.”