Finally we take a look at the four teams in Pool C of the World Rugby U20 Championship 2018, which features 2017 bronze medallists South Africa, hosts France, Ireland and Georgia.



Seeding for 2017: 3
Best finish: Champions (2012)
Worst finish: Fifth (2011)
U20 Championship match record: Played 50 / Won 36 / Draw 1 / Lost 13
U20 Championship points/tries scored: 1,937 / 265

U20 graduates: 24
Most capped U20 graduate: Eben Etzebeth (67 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: Salmaan Moerat

One to watch: Damian Willemse
One of South Africa’s most exciting young pivots is blessed with all the skills and made his Super Rugby debut for the Stormers in 2017, aged just 18. Willemse showed the quality of his passing game while playing at centre during last year’s Championship, but if the need arises he is not afraid to take opponents on himself and has an uncanny knack of spinning out of tackles. Defensively he hits hard and his goal-kicking is steadily improving too. A player who has it all.


Seeding for 2018: 4
Best finish: Fourth (2011, 2015, 2017)
Worst finish: Ninth (2016)
U20 Championship match record: Played 50 / Won 31 / Draw 1 / Lost 18
U20 Championship points/tries scored: 1,368 / 172

U20 graduates: 53
Most capped U20 graduates: Yoann Maestri (59 tests)

Did you know...? Pierre Bernard of France holds the record for the most points scored in a single U20 Championship match with 33 against Wales in the fifth-place play-off in 2009.

Coach: Sebastien Piqueronies
Captain: Arthur Coville

One to watch: Romain Ntamack
Able to put team-mates through holes or ghost through defences himself, Ntamack appears blessed with the talent that his father, Les Bleus and Toulouse legend Emile, possessed. The fly-half, who has played 10 matches for Toulouse this season, has improved his accuracy off the tee, converting 80 per cent of his attempts at goal during France’s U20 Six Nations-winning campaign, to finish as top points scorer with three tries included in his 52-point tally. This will be his second U20 Championship after injury cut short his first outing in Georgia last year and having only just turned 19, he clearly has a big future ahead of him.


Seeding for 2018: 9
Best finish: Second (2016)
Worst finish: Ninth (2008, 2010, 2017)
U20 match record: Played 50 / Won 25 / Lost 25

U20 points/tries scored: 1,185 / 128

U20 graduates: 44
Most capped U20 graduate: Conor Murray (71 tests, including five for British and Irish Lions)

Did you know...? In 2010, Ireland captain Rhys Ruddock became the only player to be called away from an U20 Championship to join up with the senior team. He duly made his debut against the Wallabies.

Coach: Noel McNamara
Captain: Caelan Doris

One to watch: Caelan Doris
Back for his second year with the U20s and this time as captain, Doris' powerful ball carrying and insatiable appetite for work has put him next in an impressive line of number eights to be produced by Leinster. After missing the whole of the U20 Six Nations because of a hamstring injury, the former Blackrock College pupil made his first senior appearance for his province in the PRO14 against Connacht earlier this month and looks the most probable long-term successor to Jamie Heaslip. Doris will be hoping to pick up where he left off at the U20 Championship in Georgia, having scored tries in each of his last two outings against Samoa and Georgia.


Seeding for 2018: 10
Best finish: 10th (2016, 2017)
Worst finish: 10th (2016, 2017)
U20 Championship match record: Played 10 / Won 2 / Lost 8
U20 Championship points/tries scored: 142 / 16

U20 graduates: 35 (4 from Championship and 31 from Trophy)
Most capped U20 graduate: Lasha Khmaladze (63 tests) Under Trophy Graduate

Did you know...? Vasil Lobzhanidze captained Georgia on their U20 Championship debut in 2016, eight months after the scrum-half became the youngest player in Rugby World Cup history.

Coach: Ilia Maisuradze
Captain: Beka Saginadze

One to watch: Gela Aprasidze (pictured)
One of Georgia’s outstanding young talents, Aprasidze has already left an indelible mark on the World Rugby U20 Championship, scoring a try that was nominated for IRPA Try of the Year 2017. Receiving the ball on his own 10-metre line, Aprasidze turned on the gas to burst through a gap and show the Irish defence a clean pair of heels to the delight of the locals in Tbilisi. The 20-year-old scrum-half, who also possesses a powerful boot and isn’t afraid to attempt a kick from inside his own half, will be appearing in his third U20 Championship in France and is certain to add to his eight test caps in the years to come.

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