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Ireland U-20 Men Through To Semi-Finals Following Cancelled Game

Ireland U-20 Men Through To Semi-Finals Following Cancelled Game

A view of the pitch at the Athlone Sports Stadium in Cape Town ahead of the 2pm local kick-off time ©INPHO/Steve Haag Sports/Darren Stewart

The Ireland Under-20 Men (sponsored by PwC) had their Pool B decider against Australia cancelled this afternoon, due to adverse weather conditions in Cape Town.

A statement from World Rugby read: “Due to heavy rainfall in the Cape Town region today, the pitch at the Athlone Sports Stadium has been assessed in partnership with organisers and match officials and currently declared not safe to play.

“As a result, the first match scheduled at the venue between the Ireland and Australia Under-20 teams has been cancelled, and as per the tournament rules, both teams have been awarded two competition points.”

That means that Willie Faloon’s charges will advance to the World Rugby U-20 Championship semi-finals as pool winners, finishing with 11 points compared to Australia’s eight.

It is the first time ever that the Ireland Under-20s have reached back-to-back World Rugby U-20 Championship semi-finals, following on from last year’s second place finish when Richie Murphy was in charge of the team.

The semi-finals are scheduled to take place next Sunday at Cape Town’s DHL Stadium, with New Zealand and England (both on 10 points) currently topping the other pools, and one of the pool runners-up also qualifying for the last-four.

An update from World Rugby, regarding today’s other two pool matches at the Athlone Sports Stadium, confirmed: “After further assessments made by organisers and match officials at the Athlone Sports Stadium, the pitch has been sufficiently drained to allow rugby to resume in safe conditions.

“The remaining matches, France v Wales (3.30pm Irish time) and South Africa v England (6pm) will go ahead as scheduled. Weather and pitch conditions will continue to be monitored closely through the rest of the day.”