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U20 Championship 2019: Pool C preview
Finally, we take a look at the four teams in Pool C of the World Rugby U20 Championship 2019, which features two former winners in New Zealand and South Africa as well as Georgia and Scotland.
Finally, we take a look at the four teams in Pool C of the World Rugby U20 Championship 2019, which features 2012 winners South Africa, the competition’s most successful team New Zealand, Georgia and Scotland.
POOL A PREVIEW >>
POOL B PREVIEW >>
Seeding for 2019: 3
Best finish: Champions (2012)
Worst finish: Fifth (2011)
U20 Championship match record: Played 55 / Won 39 / Drawn 1 / Lost 15
U20 Championship points/tries scored: 2,102 / 293
U20 graduates: 47
Most capped U20 graduate: Eben Etzebeth (75 tests)
Did you know …? Handré Pollard endured a whirlwind eight days in June 2014 as he went from the heartbreak of losing the U20 Championship final 21-20 to England and being named World Rugby Junior Player of the Year to the elation of making his Springbok debut against Scotland
Coach: Chean Roux
Captain: Phendulani Buthelezi
One to watch: Celimpilo Gumede
A member of South Africa's sevens squad that finished fourth at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires last October, Celimpilo Gumede earned the nickname 'The Brick' in high school for his tough defence and direct approach on attack. He doesn't turn 19 until July and while he might not be the highest profile member of the Junior Springboks' back-row, his size, mobility and raw ability mark him out as one to keep an eye on.
Seeding for 2019: 4
Best finish: Champions (2008. 2009. 2010, 2011, 2015, 2017)
Worst finish: Fifth (2016)
U20 Championship match record: Played 55 / Won 46 / Lost 9
U20 Championship points/tries scored: 2,365 / 335
U20 graduates: 46 (45 Championship, one Trophy)
Most capped U20 graduate: Sam Whitelock (108 tests)
Did you know …? U20 graduate Beauden Barrett was named World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year in 2016 and 2017, becoming only the third player to win the coveted award twice after fellow All Blacks Richie McCaw and Daniel Carter
Coach: Craig Philpott
Captain: Kianu Kereru-Symes
One to watch: Etene Nanai-Seturo
He may still be a few months shy of his 20th birthday, but Etene Nanai-Seturo has long been in the spotlight having signed a five-year contract with Rugby League side the NZ Warriors aged only 15. It's also why New Zealand Rugby were so keen to secure his future after he expressed a desire to play union and he quickly repaid that with his displays on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and in winning Commonwealth Games gold in 2018. This year he has shone in a stuttering Chiefs side, using his electric feet to score two tries on his Super Rugby debut. His future may well lie at full-back but he already has 11 Super Rugby caps to his name on the wing.
Seeding for 2019: 9
Best finish: Ninth (2018)
Worst finish: 10th (2016, 2017)
U20 Championship match record: Played 15 / Won 5 / Lost 10
U20 Championship points/tries scored: 268 / 33
U20 graduates: 42 (8 Championship and 34 Trophy)
Most capped U20 graduate: Lasha Khmaladze (73 tests)
Did you know …? Georgia boast two of the three players at the U20 Championship in 2019 who have already made their test debuts – captain Tedo Abzhandadze (pictured) and hooker Vano Karkadze
Coach: Ilia Maisuradze
Captain: Tedo Abzhandadze
One to watch: Tedo Abzhandadze
Georgia national coach Milton Haig cannot speak highly enough of a fly-half he has already capped seven times at test level, admitting they believe he can be a “truly world-class” player. A natural rugby player, with good instincts and understanding of the game, Tedo Abzhandadze will play in his third U20 Championship while still in his teens and will be instrumental if the Junior Lelos are to match or better their ninth-place finish in France last year.
Seeding for 2019: 10
Best finish: Fifth (2017)
Worst finish: 10th (2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014)
U20 Championship match record: Played 55 / Won 21 / Lost 34
U20 Championship points/tries scored: 1,124 / 150
U20 graduates: 52
Most capped U20 graduate: Stuart Hogg (67 tests)
Did you know …? Scotland’s Jamie Farndale was the leading try-scorer at the 2012 U20 Championship in South Africa, despite his side finishing ninth. He hasn't stopped scoring tries since, having reached 100 tries on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in London last weekend.
Coach: Carl Hogg
Captain: Connor Boyle
One to watch: Connor Boyle
A try-scorer in Scotland's emphatic 70-7 win over Old Glory in Washington earlier this week, captain Connor Boyle and his fellow back-rows will be important to Scotland's hopes of avoiding another relegation-threatened campaign like 2018 with the Scots having struggled for set-piece stability and firepower during the U20 Six Nations. Capped by Scotland at U16, U18 and U20 level, Boyle is adept over the ball like any good openside has to be and leads by example. He also knows his way to the try-line, having crossed for tries against Ireland, Italy and Wales in the Six Nations.
Who do you think will rise the top of Pool C or spring a surprise along the way? Join the conversation @WorldRugby using #WorldRugbyU20s.