- Premier age-grade tournament to be hosted in Rosario and Santa Fe from 4-22 June
- The 12 participating nations have been drawn into three pools of four teams
- Hosts Argentina face defending champions France, Wales and newly-promoted Fiji
- 653 players have graduated from U20 Championship to test stage
- Tickets are available viaticketek.com.ar/u20-championship
The match schedule and ticketing information has been announced for the 12th edition of the World Rugby U20 Championship 2019, to be hosted in Argentina.
The cities of Rosario and Santa Fe will play host to 30 matches played over five match days across three venues from 4-22 June.
The 12 participating nations have been drawn in three pools of four teams, based on rankings from the 2018 edition. Defending champions and 2018 hosts France will take on home favourites Argentina, Wales and World Rugby U20 Trophy 2018 winners Fiji in Pool A.
Pool B sees 2018 runners-up England face Australia, Italy and Ireland, while Pool C includes six-time U20 champions New Zealand alongside 2018 bronze medallists South Africa, Georgia and Scotland.
Tickets for the hotly anticipated event providing a unique chance to witness the best young players in the world and the stars of the future are available via www.ticketek.com.ar/u20-championship and priced from $300 (£5.65) for pool matches.
First held in Wales in 2008 only four nations have lifted the distinctive trophy in New Zealand, South Africa, England, and for the first time in 2018, France.
The tournament is already a proven pathway to the top with a total of 653 players having graduated from the U20 Championship to play test rugby since New Zealand won the inaugural title. It is anticipated that Rugby World Cup 2019 will see more than 300 players take the field in Japan who have previously appeared at U20 Championships.
Argentina is an experienced host of international age-grade tournaments. The hosts of the World Rugby U20 Championship 2019 have seen the future starts of world rugby up close in 1997 (U19) and 2005 (U21) before age-grade rugby was unified under the U20 category. In 2010, the U20 Championship was held in the same region as the one that will host 12 nations come June and Buenos Aires hosted the Youth Olympic Games in 2018 at which Argentina won the men’s rugby sevens gold medal in front of an exuberant home crowd.
Following a record breaking U20 Championship in France last year that saw 97,776 fans attend across the tournament, a peak domestic television audience of 1.31 million fans watching the final and more than 41.5 million video views in total, Rosario and Santa Fe will be expecting a great level of local interest and passionate support for Argentina.
Los Pumitas will kick off against Wales on Wednesday 4 June, play Fiji four days later before taking on France on Wednesday 12 June in their final pool game.
World Rugby Vice-Chairman and Rugby Americas President Agustín Pichot said: “The U20 Championship has proven itself to be a very important competition for the uncovering and development of the future stars of our game and attracting new, young fans to the sport.
“With Rugby World Cup 2019 on the horizon these young players will have no shortage of inspiration to take the next step towards fulfilling their rugby dreams.
“The 2018 edition of the U20 Championship in France was an outstanding success and it is a great honour for Argentina to take the pass and host this prestigious competition. The 12 participating nations will experience a warm Argentinian welcome and we look forward to an excellent tournament with enthusiastic fans and spectacular action on the field of play.”
Marcelo Rodríguez, Unión Argentina de Rugby President, said: “It is an honour to have this kind of event in our country, which reflects the joint work our Union is doing with our provincial unions. This event is an opportunity to show our capability to the world and that we are able to organize bigger international competitions in the future. We have taken on the commitment of hosting the best U20 Championship in history and we want the fans to come to the games, experience its values and what it transmits and that they can enjoy watching the future stars of the sport in action.”