With only hours to go until the 12th edition of the World Rugby U20 Championship kicks off in Argentina, we bring you some statistics to whet your appetite ahead of what looks set to be the most competitive tournament yet.

On the road … The host nation has only won the tournament three times, South Africa in 2012, England in 2016 and France in 2018

Trophy lifters … The 11 winning captains are Chris Smith (2008), Aaron Cruden (2009), Tyler Bleyendaal (2010), Luke Whitelock (2011), Wiaan Liebenberg (2012), Jack Clifford (2013), Maro Itoje (2014), Atunaisa Moli (2015), Harry Mallinder (2016), Luke Jacobson (2017) and Arthur Coville (2018)

Final appearances … England (9), New Zealand (7), South Africa (2), Australia (1), France (1), Ireland (1) and Wales (1)

Winning percentage … New Zealand have an 85.71 per cent success rate in finals, having won on six of their seven appearances. England have reached nine finals but won only three

Semi-final heartbreak … Argentina are the only other side to make a semi-final

Record-breakers ... New Zealand ripped up the U20 Championship record books in beating England 64-17 in the 2017 final, scoring the most tries and points in a title decider

Welcome back to Argentina … Argentina becomes the third country after Italy and France to host the pinnacle event of age-grade rugby twice, having first hosted in 2010

Top for tries … New Zealand winger Tevita Li scored a record 13 tries across his two appearances in the U20 Championship

Ten of the best … Australia’s Andrew Kellaway holds the record for the most tries in a single U20 Championship with 10 in 2014

Welcome back … Fiji bounced back to the U20 Championship stage for the first time since 2014 by winning the sister event, the U20 Trophy in 2018

Longest unbeaten run … New Zealand won their first 21 matches in the U20 Championship before slipping to a shock 9-6 defeat to Wales in the 2012 pool stages

Fast-tracked … Handré Pollard suffered heartbreak in the 2014 final as South Africa captain and was named Junior Player of the Year, but eight days later the fly-half enjoyed the high of making his Springbok debut against Scotland (main picture)

The future stars of world rugby … Some 655 players have taken part in an U20 Championship and gone on to play test rugby

Breeding ground … Argentina boast the most of these U20 Championship graduates with 67, including Los Pumas captain Pablo Matera

Test veterans … Three players in the class of 2019 in Argentina have already been capped at test level in England back-row Ted Hill, Georgia hooker Vano Karkadze and his captain Tedo Abzhandadze

In on the act … Seven nations who have never graced the U20 Championship stage have capped players who have played in the tournament in the Bahamas, Cook Islands, Hong Kong, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Zimbabwe

World Rugby Men's Player of the Year … Brodie Retallick became the first U20 graduate to receive the accolade in 2014 and was followed by his fellow All Black Beauden Barrett in 2016 and 2017. The likes of David Pocock, Julian Savea, Leigh Halfpenny, Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje, Malcolm Marx and Billy Vunipola have all been nominated for the award

Back-to-back … All Black Sam Whitelock (pictured right) is the only U20 graduate with two Rugby World Cup winners’ medals

RWC winners … There were three U20 graduates in the All Blacks' RWC 2011 winning squad on home soil and 10 four years later in England

Quarter-time … More than a quarter of players at RWC 2015 had come through the U20 Championship pathway. It is anticipated this could rise as high as half at Japan 2019

Kicking competition … In the knockout stages, only once in 11 tournaments has a kicking competition been required to decide the winner of a match – in 2010 when hosts Argentina beat Wales 9-8 to reach the fifth-place play-off after the sides had been locked at 19-19 after extra-time

First draw … France and South Africa played out the first draw in the pool stages of an U20 Championship in Georgia in 2017, the Junior Springboks converting a last-gasp try to salvage a 23-23 draw

Most capped graduate … Sam Whitelock (New Zealand) with 108 tests

Centurion club … Sam Whitelock (108) and Will Genia (100) joined the centurion club in 2018 with others in contention to join them by the end of RWC 2019

First U20 Championship graduate … Alatasi Tupou of Samoa made his debut against New Zealand on 3 September, 2008 and has gone on to captain Samoa on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series

Most recent U20 Championship graduate … Marco Zanon of Italy, who made his debut against France on 16 March