We turn our attention to the four teams in Pool B at the World Rugby U20 Championship 2017, which features Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland and Italy.



Seeding for 2017: 2
Best finish: Second (2016)
Worst finish: Ninth (2008, 2010)
U20 match record: Played 45 / Won 23 / Lost 22
U20 points/tries scored: 1,057 / 112

U20 graduates: 34
Most capped U20 graduate: Conor Murray (59 tests, including two 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: Peter Malone
Captain: Paul Boyle

One to watch: Fineen Wycherley
This will be his first U20 Championship, but the second-row is one of the most experienced members of the Ireland squad, having made his senior debut for Munster in the PRO12 against Cardiff Blues. With Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus believed to be an admirer of the 19-year-old's game, winning the British and Irish Cup with Munster A may be just the beginning for Wycherley. A leader in the pack and a good operator in the lineout, his experience will be key for an Irish side missing a number of players through injury.


Seeding for 2017: 5
Best finish: Champions (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015)
Worst finish: Fifth (2016)
U20 Championship match record: Played 45 / Won 38 / Lost 7
U20 Championship points / tries scored: 1,910 / 266

U20 graduates: 34
Most capped U20 graduate: Sam Whitelock (84 tests)

Did you know...? Ten members of New Zealand’s RWC 2015 winning side came through the U20 Championship pathway and all lifted that distinctive trophy as well as the Webb Ellis Cup

Coach: Craig Philpott
Captain: Luke Jacobson

One to watch: Caleb Clarke
Being the son of a former All Black inevitably brings added pressure, but 18-year-old Clarke takes it in his stride and sees the benefits of having his father Eroni on hand for advice on his games. His father's advice to give sprinting a try has certainly benefited his game and in the recent Oceania Rugby U20 Championship he caught the eye as New Zealand claimed the title, scoring one try and making 17 carries for 174 metres in total. Described by coach Craig Philpott as a player with "great natural ability" who "really exemplifies what a lot of New Zealand rugby is about."


Seeding for 2017: 8
Best finish: Eighth (2015, 2016)
Worst finish: 10th (2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014)
U20 match record: Played 45 / Won 16 / Lost 29
U20 points/tries scored: 877 / 116

U20 graduates: 37
Most capped U20 graduate: Richie Gray (65 tests, including one for the British and Irish Lions)

Did you know...? Scotland’s Jamie Farndale was the leading try-scorer at the 2012 U20 Championship in South Africa, despite his side finishing ninth.

Coach: John Dalziel
Captain: Callum Hunter-Hill

One to watch: Darcy Graham 
Hawick flyer Graham served notice of his devastating finishing ability when he received the ball just inside the Australia half at last year’s U20 Championship and weaved his way through the defence for a superb try. Since then, the jet-heeled full-back cum winger’s career has continued on an upward curve. He celebrated a new two-year deal with Edinburgh with three tries in the final two games of the U20 Six Nations before going on to appear for Scotland at the Hong Kong and Singapore rounds of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.


Seeding for 2017: 11
Best finish: 11th (2008, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Worst finish: 13th (2009 – last year of 16 teams)

U20 Championship match record: Played 35 / Won 9 / Lost 26
U20 Championship points / tries scored: 523 / 60

U20 graduates: 43 (36 from Championship and seven from Trophy)
Most capped U20 graduate: Edoardo Gori (61 tests)

Did you know...? Italy have avoided relegation on the final day of the last three tournaments, surviving against Fiji, Samoa and Japan. In 2015 on home soil they survived only after Samoa missed a long-range penalty with the final kick

Coach: Alessandro Troncon
Captain: Marco Riccioni

One to watch: Marco Riccioni
Italy's Six Nations campaign may have yielded another wooden spoon after five defeats, but their captain Marco Riccioni was one of the players to emerge with his reputation enhanced and he is sure to be a player national coach Conor O'Shea will be keeping an eye on as he looks for a player who can fill the tight-head role for years to come. Riccioni will only arrive in Georgia on Sunday after helping Calvisano win the Eccellenza final a day earlier in his last match for his club before he moves to Treviso next season to play PRO12 rugby.

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