• Officials, players and dignitaries gather in São Paulo to launch event
• Tournament to build on success of Rio 2016 and growth of rugby in Brazil
• More than 16 million rugby fans in Brazil according to Nielsen Research
• Exciting time for rugby in South America, as global attention now turns to Brazil
• Tickets are on sale now. For each ticket sold, Brasil Rugby will donate a ticket to social community projects
With two weeks to go till the start of the World Rugby U20 Trophy 2019, the anticipation is growing in Brazil as the country prepares to host its first major global 15s tournament.
Building on the exceptional success of rugby sevens at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the rapid growth of the sport in Brazil, the 12th edition of the annual global age-grade tournament will take place in São José dos Campos from 9-21 July. Teams will compete over four match days for the title and the ultimate prize of promotion to the U20 Championship 2020 in Italy.
The official launch of the tournament took place on Tuesday at the Palácio dos Bandeirantes, the seat of the São Paulo State Government, where the President of the Confederação Brasileira de Rugby (Brasil Rugby), Eduardo Mufarej, and World Rugby Vice Chairman, Agustín Pichot were joined by local dignitaries including the Vice Governor and the Sports and Tourism Secretaries of the State of São Paulo, the Director of High Performance Sport of São José dos Campos, players and sponsors.
It will be Brazil’s first appearance in the U20 Trophy and their first time as hosts of a major global World Rugby 15s event, as rugby in the sport-loving nation continues to go from strength to strength.
The hosts will face 2017 champions Japan, along with Kenya and Uruguay in Pool A, while in Pool B, Tonga, Canada, Portugal and Hong Kong will battle it out for top spot.
VIEW WORLD RUGBY U20 TROPHY FIXTURES >>
Since Rio 2016, the profile of rugby has increased significantly in Brazil with recent Nielsen research finding there to be more than 16 million fans – those who are ‘interested’ or ‘very interested’ in rugby – making Brazil the sixth largest potential rugby nation in the world. This has been aided by impressive results from the country’s national sides with the senior men’s 15s team climbing to an all-time high of 24th in the World Rugby Rankings this year and the women’s sevens team achieving promotion to both the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series for 2020 and qualification to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in recent months.
The tournament closely follows the World Rugby U20 Championship, which concluded in neighbouring Argentina on Saturday, and the World Rugby Nations Cup, which was hosted by Uruguay earlier in June, and demonstrates World Rugby’s commitment to growing the game and providing greater exposure to elite competitions in South America. The growing success of rugby in Brazil echoes that of the wider South American region, which now boasts 680,000 players across the continent.
In May, Brazil also hosted the Webb Ellis Cup as part of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour, which saw rugby’s greatest prize travel across the country, exciting and inspiring fans with stops in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Belo Horizonte.
VIEW RUGBY WORLD CUP TROPHY TOUR VISIT TO BRAZIL >>
Speaking from the launch event, World Rugby Vice-Chairman, Agustín Pichot, said: “The future of rugby in Brazil is looking very bright thanks to the rapid growth of the sport here and across the region. As first-time participants and hosts, the World Rugby U20 Trophy is a fantastic milestone on Brazil’s journey as a rugby playing nation.
“I would like to thank Brasil Rugby and the State of São Paulo for hosting the tournament, which is shaping up to be an incredible showpiece for the best up-and-coming talent from emerging nations around the world. The U20 Trophy represents an important development opportunity for the next generation of stars – part of World Rugby’s mission to grow the global game - and I am sure we will witness high quality, exciting rugby throughout.”
VIDEO OF AGUSTÍN PICHOT SPEAKING AT THE LAUNCH >>
Confederação Brasileira de Rugby President, Eduardo Mufarej, added: “We are very honoured to host the World Rugby U20 Trophy 2019. I hope that Brazil can increasingly be the venue for major rugby events and, most importantly, that we can encourage the participation of young people, women and men, to better understand the sport and participate more in rugby."
The tournament offers a platform to develop the players who will become the stars of the future in many of the emerging nations of rugby. To date 460 players have successfully made the transition from appearing in the U20 Trophy to achieving senior test player status.
All matches across the four matchdays on 9, 13, 17 and 21 July will take place in the Estádio Martins Pereira in São José dos Campos.
Tickets for the World Rugby U20 Trophy are now on sale at https://www.tstickets.com.br/rugby. Brasil Rugby are running a campaign targeting rugby clubs, with codes being released on their social networks to offer discounted ticket purchases. Promotional combinations are also being made available by the organisation, making the tickets even more accessible. In addition, with each ticket sold, Brasil Rugby will donate a ticket for social projects in an action designed to bring rugby and the community even closer together.
SEE TICKETING INFORMATION HERE >>
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