Argentina are set to host the World Rugby U20 Championship for a second time in June, but it isn’t only the location of matches that may give fans a sense of déjà vu.

Since the inaugural tournament in 2008, some 655 players have graduated from the U20 Championship to earn full test recognition.

So it is not surprising that family connections have appeared in the intervening years. Take a closer look at the 2019 squads and eagle-eyed supporters will recognise some familiar names among the 336 players picked across the 12 teams.

Those ready to take the field in Rosario and Santa Fe next month include the relatives of former U20 Championship winners, Rugby World Cup stars and a World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee.

Outside of rugby, one player is the product of a true sporting family that includes footballers, a long jumper and a basketball player, while another is related to an Olympic hurdler.

Former champions 

England’s Tom Willis has been selected for his second U20 Championship and will attempt to emulate brother Jack, who won the title on home soil in Manchester in 2016.

Billy Proctor is also back with New Zealand and has another shot to go one better than brother Matt, the Maori All Blacks centre who suffered final heartbreak against South Africa in Cape Town seven years ago.

Proctor is joined in the New Zealand squad by Kaylum Boshier, whose brother Lachlan appeared in 2014, Leicester Fainga’anuku and Taine Plumtree. The latter's father John is the Hurricanes coach in Super Rugby, while Fainga’anuku’s brother Tima is an U20 Championship winner, having lined up on the right wing when New Zealand overwhelmed England 64-17 in the 2017 final in Georgia.

That England side featured Jacob Umaga – nephew of All Black great Tana – and the current squad is packed with familiar names.

Tom de Glanville, Cameron Redpath and Ollie Sleightholme are all sons of former internationals. But while Tom’s father Phil captained England eight times during a 38-cap career and Ollie’s dad, Jon, played 12 times for his country, it was for Scotland that Bryan Redpath appeared in 60 tests, 21 of them as captain. Redpath senior also coached Scotland in last year's tournament in France.

Family dynasties 

Rusiate Tuima and Manu Vunipola are other England players whose relatives found fame with other nations. Vunipola’s father Elisi played for Tonga, appearing at two Rugby World Cups, while Tuima is the nephew of former Fiji captain Akapusi Qera. Tuima is actually the third family member to wear the red rose, his sister Lagi (pictured right) having made her England women's debut in 2017 and cousin Joe Cokanasiga crossing for two tries in four tests since his debut last November. 

Vunipola is also the cousin of current England forwards Billy and Mako, who both played at the U20 Championship.

Sam Maunder’s brother Jack represented England in the U20 Six Nations in 2016 and 2017, while Ted Hill – one of three players in the 2019 squads already capped at senior level – is the nephew of former England footballer Geoff Thomas.

But it is prop Joe Heyes who arguably comes from the most eclectic sporting dynasty. Not only were his father Darren and paternal grandfather George both professional goalkeepers but the former Nottingham Forest Academy prospect’s mother Rachel was an international basketball player for Ireland and his maternal grandfather Bob Rees was a British record holder in the long jump.

Hosts Argentina, meanwhile, have included Ignacio Mendy in their squad. His father Cristian played 16 tests for Los Pumas from 1987-91, scoring seven tries – including a last-minute effort that sealed a 27-19 win over Australia in Buenos Aires in his first year as a test player. 

Argentina will meet defending champions France in Pool A, and Les Bleuets have included Donovan Taofifenua, a cousin of France internationals Romain and Sebastien who both played in the U20 Championship and have gone on to play test rugby since. Romain, in fact, played in 2010 when the U20 Championship was last held in Argentina.

Hall of Fame inductee 

Pool A is completed by Fiji and Wales, the latter of whom have named Cai Evans, son of former Wales captain, British and Irish Lions winger and World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee Ieuan (main picture), in their squad.

He is joined by Max Llewellyn, whose father Gareth won 92 caps for Wales and played at three Rugby World Cups, while Teddy Williams’ dad Owain was a Wales international and sevens captain and his uncle Gareth represented the British and Irish Lions.

Australia’s Isaac Lucas is in line to play at his second U20 Championship. His three brothers have all played sevens for their country, while Ben won the U19 World Championship in 2006 and Matt appeared at the U20 World Championship in 2011 and 2012. Tom Lucas, meanwhile, has played 121 matches on the World Rugby Sevens Series and at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (pictured left)

Lucas’ team-mate Lachlan Lonergan’s brother Ryan, meanwhile, captained Australia to fifth place at last year’s U20 Championship in France, while Noah Lolesio’s cousin – Harlequins centre Francis Saili – won the tournament with New Zealand in 2011.

Two other Junior Wallabies – Josh Nasser and Angus Bell – are both the sons of former test players. Brendan Nasser played eight times for the Wallabies, while Mark Bell earned one cap before being part of the coaching team at the 2006 and 2007 U19 World Championships, the first of which Australia won in Dubai.

Olympic pedigree 

As well as England, Australia will play Ireland and Italy in Pool B in Argentina. Ireland prop Josh Wycherley’s brother Fineen scored a try against Samoa at the U20 Championship two years ago, but the younger sibling will aim to help his side to finish higher than ninth.

Italy, meanwhile, have named Federico Mori in their ranks and they will hope the back has inherited some of his uncle Fabrizio’s pace. Fabrizio Mori is a former 400m hurdles world champion and competed at the Olympic Games in 1996 and 2000.

Mori’s team-mate Matteo Moscardi, meanwhile, is the nephew of former hooker Alessandro Moscardi, who played 44 tests for the Azzurri and captained them on 19 occasions – including once in Argentina.

In Pool C, Scotland will be hoping to upset the odds against New Zealand and South Africa with the help of Murphy Walker. His uncle is former Scotland test centre and U20 coach Sean Lineen.

South Africa themselves have named Emile van Heerden – son of 14-cap Springbok Fritz – in their squad, while three Georgian players are also sons of former internationals in Mikheil Alania, Ioseb Gusharashvili and Kote Marjanishvili. Alania's father Kakha played in the match against Russia in 2002 which saw Georgia qualify for their first Rugby World Cup and has also coached the country's sevens team.

It isn't only the players with family connections, though, as Georgia's coach Ilia Maisuradze has worn the Lelos' jersey like his brother Simon, the latter playing against New Zealand at Rugby World Cup 2015.