We take a look at the four teams in Pool B of the World Rugby U20 Championship 2019, which features three-time champions England, two former runners-up in Australia and Ireland and an ever-improving Italy.



Seeding for 2019: 2
Best finish: Champions (2013, 2014, 2016)
Worst finish: Eighth (2012)
U20 Championship match record: Played 55 / Won 43 / Lost 12
U20 Championship points/tries scored: 1,848 / 237

U20 graduates: 44
Most capped U20 graduate: Ben Youngs (87 tests – 85 England, two British and Irish Lions)

Did you know …? England have reached the last six U20 Championship finals, the longest sequence in the tournament’s history, and nine times overall. However, they have a final winning percentage of only 33.33 per cent, in comparison to New Zealand’s 85.71

Coach: Steve Bates
Captain: Fraser Dingwall

One to watch: Manu Vunipola
A player with possibly the longest full name in international rugby – Christian Fainga Manu Mapu’ Aho Ta’ Aki-Moe-Aka Vunipola, Manu Vunipola is certainly not short of family pedigree, his father having played for Tonga and his cousins being Billy and Mako Vunipola! The fly-half, though, sees them as a source of inspiration rather than a burden of expectation to follow in their footsteps and should have plenty of chance to shine at the U20 Championship after Marcus Smith was pulled from the squad to play for the England XV against the Barbarians this weekend.


Seeding for 2019: 5
Best finish: Runners-up (2010)
Worst finish: Eighth (2012)
U20 Championship match record: Played 55 / Won 33 / Lost 22
U20 Championship points/tries scored: 1,752 / 243

U20 graduates: 50 (49 Championship, one Trophy)
Most capped U20 graduate: Will Genia (100 tests)

Did you know …? Australia’s U20 Championship graduates have accumulated more test caps than any other nation to date with 1,245 at the start of June 2019. Three of the four graduates to have reached 90 caps are Wallabies in Will Genia, Rob Simmons and Michael Hooper

Coach: Jason Gilmore
Captain: Fraser McReight

One to watch: Esei Ha’angana
The second-row’s transition from schoolboy to Super Rugby player was rapid to say the least, Esei Ha’angana becoming Melbourne Rebels’ youngest ever debutant in the competition in May 2017, playing against the Lions just 15 days past his 18th birthday. With a strong work ethic, a big engine to get around the field and experience of an U20 Championship, National Rugby Championship and Oceania Rugby U20 Championship event behind him now, the 20-year-old is a key member of the Junior Wallabies side.


Seeding for 2019: 8
Best finish: Eighth (2017, 2018)
Worst finish: 13th (2009 – last year of 16 teams)
U20 Championship match record: Played 45 / Won 12 / Lost 33
U20 Championship points/tries scored: 724 / 90

U20 graduates: 54 (46 Championship, eight Trophy)
Most capped U20 graduate: Edoardo Gori (69 tests)

Did you know …? Italy winger Giovanni D’Onofrio was joint top try-scorer in 2018, scoring six tries along with South Africa centre Wandisile Simelane. He is the first Italian to come close to topping the scoring charts

Coach: Fabio Roselli
Captain: Davide Ruggeri

One to watch: Matteo Moscardi
The nephew of former Italy hooker and captain Alessandro, Matteo Moscardi has been described by some as the glue that holds this Azzurrini side together. The centre may not possess the same pace or power that others in his position will do in Argentina, but he is no slouch either. An excellent reader of the game, his qualities both in defence and attack will be crucial to Italy's hopes of at least matching their eighth-place finishes of the last two years.  


Seeding for 2019: 11
Best finish: Second (2016)
Worst finish: 11th (2018)
U20 Championship match record: Played 55 / Won 26 / Lost 29
U20 Championship points/tries scored: 1,314 / 147

U20 graduates: 49
Most capped U20 graduate: Conor Murray (77 tests – 72 Ireland, five British and Irish Lions)

Did you know …? Ireland needed a last-gasp try by Tommy O'Brien to beat Japan and avoid relegation to the U20 Trophy in 2018. The class of 2019 will hope to do significantly better, arriving in Argentina as U20 Six Nations Grand Slam winners

Coach: Noel McNamara
Captain: Charlie Ryan

One to watch: Craig Casey
Resilience is undoubtedly a quality that Craig Casey possesses, the scrum-half having endured 14 months of injuries with two knee and one back operation before this year. An excellent passer with a precise box-kick, Casey made his Munster debut unexpectedly in April when his observation role became an active one when Conor Murray’s late withdrawal saw him elevated to the bench. Ireland’s vice-captain started four matches in their U20 Six Nations Grand Slam-winning campaign, scoring a brace of tries against Italy.

Who do you think will rise the top of Pool B or spring a surprise along the way? Join the conversation @WorldRugby using #WorldRugbyU20s.