Samoa will put their near-perfect record in the World Rugby U20 Trophy on the line in Nairobi, but they will have their work cut out as hosts Kenya, Spain and Hong Kong China all have hopes of finishing top of Pool B.

This month’s tournament will be the fourth U20 Trophy in which Samoa have competed and they have reached the final in each of their three previous appearances, winning the title in 2011 and 2016.

Spain were beaten in that 2016 final, their only previous U20 Trophy appearance, while Kenya finished fourth the last time the tournament was held in Nairobi. Hong Kong China, meanwhile, finished eighth in Brazil four years ago – as they have done in four of their six U20 Trophy campaigns – but will be hoping for better in Kenya.

It all means Pool B should be extremely competitive when the action gets underway at Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday.



Tournaments played: 6 (2014-19)
Best finish: Sixth (2018)
Worst finish: Eighth (2014-15, 2017, 2019)
U20 Trophy match record: Played 24 / Won 2 / Lost 22
U20 Trophy points/tries scored: 428 / 55

U20 graduates: 28 (24 Trophy, 4 Championship)
Most capped U20 graduate: Kyle Sullivan (21 tests)

Did you know …? Hong Kong China lost their first 11 matches on the U20 Trophy stage before finally tasting victory with a 44-40 defeat of hosts Zimbabwe in the seventh-place play-off in 2016.

Coach: Logan Asplin

Captain: Tyler McNutt

How they qualified

Hong Kong China booked their ticket to a seventh U20 Trophy in December, when they won the Asia Rugby U19 Championship 2022. An opening 43-9 win against Malaysia was followed by a tighter 19-12 defeat of Chinese Taipei. A squad boasting familiar names in Joe Denmark, brother of sevens star Max, and Adam Baber, son of Olympic gold medal-winning coach Gareth, will now hope to make their mark in Kenya.

Squad: Ethan Agren (Oakville Crusaders), Adam Baber (Cardiff Met, Wales), Josh Bailey (USRC Tigers), Dave Bennet (Unattached), Jamie Blair (Glasgow Hawks), Julien Bourron (Loughborough Students, England), Camil Cheung (USRC Tigers), Marco Conti (Exeter University, England), Ciaran Delaney (Eastern Suburbs), Joe Denmark (Hong Kong Football Club), Blake Elliot (USRC Tigers), Josh Eustace (Brantford Harlequins), Callum Fitzhenry (Kowloon), Jude Harding (Unattached), Dom Hedley (University of Canterbury Vipers), Glenn Hui (Gordon Rugby), Theo Mag (HKU Sandy Bay), Fritz Mahn (Kowloon), Izac Manu (USRC Tigers), Samuel Martin (Claremont Colleges Rugby), Dylan McCann (Northern Suburbs), Tyler McNutt (Hautapu), Oli Pyle (Loughborough Students, England), Billy Rigby (Leeds Beckett University), Max Threlkeld (Hong Kong Sandy Bay), Tom Walsh (USRC Tigers), Charles Warren (Ealing Trailfinders Academy), TK Yamauchi (USRC Tigers).


Tournaments played: 2 (2009, 2019)
Best finish: Fourth (2009)
Worst finish: Sixth (2019)
U20 Trophy match record: Played 8 / Won 3 / Lost 5
U20 Trophy points/tries scored: 218 / 30

U20 graduates: 17
Most capped U20 graduate: Curtis Lilako (32 tests)

Did you know …? Kenya first hosted the U20 Trophy in 2009 with the Chipu recording their best ever finish of fourth on home soil. It would be 2019 before they played in a second Trophy.

Coach: Curtis Aluoch

Captain: Mike Wamalwa

How they qualified

Kenya’s participation in this year’s U20 Trophy was guaranteed as hosts, however they put in a promising showing in the Barthés Trophy in April. Following a 44-20 quarter-final defeat of Uganda, the Chipu set up a final with Zimbabwe as they beat Namibia 24-13 in the semi-finals. Despite playing on home soil, at U20 Trophy host venue Nyayo National Stadium, Kenya came up short in the showpiece match, losing 28-7 to Zimbabwe.

Squad: Felix Chacha (Mwamba), Raymond Chacha (Strathmore Leos), Spencer Davis (Bryanston School, England), Faran Juma (Kenya Harlequins), Alvin Kalori (Kisumu), Laban Kipsang (Kenya Harlequin), Dennis Kising’u (Strathmore Leos), Iddo Kuto (Kenya Harlequins), Brian Makaya (Mean Machine), Brian Mwendwa (Strathmore Leos), Geylord Ngasi (Daystar Falcons), Zephenes Obwanga (Catholic Monks), Vincent Ochieng (Kenya Harlequin), Jeremy Odhiambo (Catholic Monks), Victor Odhiambo (Strathmore Leos), Mike Oduor (Daystar Falcons), James Olela (Kabras Sugar), Andycole Omolo (Masinde Muliro), Jacktone Omondi (Kabras Sugar), George Otieno (Shamas), Wickliffe Otieno (Daystar Falcons), Stanslaus Shikoli (Strathmore Leos), James Tsinalo Asanga (Menengai Oilers), Nathan Tsindoli (Daystar Falcons), Patrick Wainaina (Kenya Harlequin), Michael Wamalwa (KCB), Eddy Wambugu (Daystar Falcons), Raphael Wanga (Strathmore Leos).


Tournaments played: 3 (2011, 2016, 2018)
Best finish: Winners (2011, 2016)
Worst finish: Runners-up (2018)
U20 Trophy match record: Played 12 / Won 11 / Lost 1
U20 Trophy points/tries scored: 467 / 69

U20 graduates: 57 (11 Trophy, 46 Championship)
Most capped U20 graduate: Faatiga Lemalu (25 tests)

Did you know …? Samoa have a 91.7 per cent win ratio in the U20 Trophy. The team’s only tournament defeat came in the 2018 final, as Fiji ran in nine tries to secure a 58-8 victory.

Coach: Rudolf Moors

How they qualified

Samoa made sure of their place at this month’s tournament in Nairobi with a 27-25 aggregate victory against Tonga in the Oceania Rugby U20 Trophy 2022. Despite leading 19-3 at half-time of the first leg in Nuku’alofa, Junior Manu Samoa lost the opener 20-19 and needed a narrow 8-5 win in the second match to advance to a fourth U20 Trophy.

Squad: Christopher Afamasaga (Marist), Visesio Amituanai (Moamoa Roosters), Malesina Lautala Aumua (Palauli), Malaesaili Elato (Marist), Benjamin Faavae (Vaiala), Pesaleli Faiga (Palauli), William Hunt (Marist), Henrychiu Lemauai (Lauli’i), Alex Lui (Moamoa Roosters), Kelekolio Mealelei (Aleipata), Carlos Shane Melvin (Norths Eagles), Afa Moleli (Auckland University), Maoaluma Pasa (Palauli), Bless Te Whaiahoki Perese-Elliot (Whakarewarewa RC), Lua Ian Junior Tuala Pritchard (Moata’a), Filoialii Junior Reti (Vaiala), Tagiilima Justice Ripine (Marist), Robert Jr Robertson (Palauli), John Mata Samuelu (Te Kawau RC), Maea Harman Tema Schmidt (Poneke Rugby), Paul Stanley (Vaimoso), Chris Daru Tagoai (Moamoa Roosters), Faauiga Tauese Tanumoa (Palauli), Faalava Toetu (Palauli), Roger Tualaulelei (Marist), Konefesi Siliga Tupai (Palauli), Royce Billy Jr Umutaua (Apia), Wally Tau Vesi (Marist).


Tournaments played: 1 (2016)
Best finish: Runners-up (2016)
U20 Trophy match record: Played 4 / Won 3 / Lost 1
U20 Trophy points/tries scored: 134 / 17

U20 graduates: 16 (9 Trophy, 7 Championship)
Most capped U20 graduate: Jordi Jorba (40 tests)

Did you know …? Spain reached the final in their only previous appearance in 2016 but were denied a dream debut by Tivoli Masaga’s sudden-death extra-time try for Samoa.

Coach: Raúl Pérez

Captain: Álvaro García

How they qualified

Spain became the first team to qualify for this year’s U20 Trophy when they successfully defended their Rugby Europe U20 Championship title last November. A 51-13 win against Czechia set up a semi-final with Belgium, who they beat 25-6. The Netherlands were their opponents in the final and Spain scored the only try of the match in Lisbon to secure a 13-6 victory.

Squad: Manex Ariceta (Aviron Bayonnais), Jaime Borondo (Carcassone), Noah Canepa (Aparejadores Burgos), Daniel Catanzaro (Castres Olyme), Mario Coronado (RC Valencia), Eloy de la Pisa (San Isidro Rugby), Yago Fernández (Terenure College), Aniol Franch (CN Poble Nou), Álvaro García (UE Santboiana), Diego González (CD Mairena), Juan Guillermo (CR Cisneros), Borja Ibáñez (Pozuelo Rugby Union), Javier López de Haro (Pozuelo Rugby Union), Cristian Moreno (Pozuelo Rugby Union), Beau Finnian Peart (CR El Salvador), Rodrigo Pelaz (CR El Salvador), Martin Peña (Pozuelo Rugby Union), Pablo Pérez (Barça Rugbi), Ignacio Piñeiro (ASM Clermont Auvergne), Valentino Rizzo (CR Cisneros), Gabriel Rocaríes (Pozuelo Rugby Union), Jacobo Ruiz (CR El Salvador), Daniel Sacristán (CR Cisneros), Javier Salomo (RC Valencia), Marcel Sirvent (UE Santboiana), Martín Sorreluz (Zarautz RT), Antonio Suárez (Ealing), Álvaro Vilchez (USON Nevers).

POOL B Fixtures (Kick-off times local, GMT+3)

All matches to be played at Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi

Saturday, 15 July

12:00 – Samoa v Kenya
16:00 – Spain v Hong Kong China

Thursday, 20 July

10:00 – Samoa v Hong Kong China
16:00 – Spain v Kenya

Tuesday, 25 July

12:00 – Kenya v Hong Kong China
14:00 – Spain v Samoa