- Planning and preparation on track
- Tournament organisers anticipating exceptional event
- Anticipation growing in South Africa
The match schedule for the IRB Junior World Championship 2012 in South Africa has been announced with tournament organisers confident that the event will be a success, delivering unprecedented profile for Rugby's showcase age grade event.
With IRB officials in Cape Town for key preparation meetings, planning and preparation is on track, record television coverage secured and public anticipation is building as the world's best players at under 20 level prepare to compete at two world class venues in South Africa's Rugby hotbed.
The Championship will kick off on Monday, June 4, with hosts South Africa facing Ireland, while defending champions New Zealand take on Samoa and Wales open proceedings at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch against Fiji.
At the University of Western Cape Stadium in Cape Town, the match action starts with 2010 runners-up Australia playing Scotland, followed by last year’s finalists England against Italy and France against Argentina.
VIEW THE POOLS AND MATCH SCHEDULE HERE >>
Oregan Hoskins, IRB Vice Chairman and South African Rugby Union (SARU) President, said: “We are committed to delivering a world class tournament for players and fans. Those attending the Championship will be treated to triple-headers featuring the best up and coming players in the world, a feast of quality entertainment on and off the field and attractive ticket prices.
"We will continue to work extremely hard in partnership with the IRB to ensure the delivery of a successful tournament that will benefit the Game in South Africa where the appetite for world-class Rugby is huge, our supporters are passionate and our hospitality exceptional.”
IRB tournament officials have spent three days with SARU representatives fine tuning final preparations for what promises to be a memorable event.
IRB Tournament Director Philippe Bourdarias said: “We have completed a comprehensive round of site visits this week and I have no doubt the IRB Junior World Championship 2012 will be a very special event in a country which is world renowned for its exceptional tournament management.”
“The JWC will be watched by millions of fans across the world thanks to an unprecedented television platform by SuperSport, while we are confident that the Rugby-loving public in and around Cape Town and Stellenbosch will ensure that all match days are well attended, generating a uniquely South African atmosphere."
Pool matches will continue on Friday, June 8 and Tuesday, June 12 before the teams are seeded one to 12 based on their pool positions for the semi-finals and play-off matches on Sunday, June 17. The final will be played on Friday, June 22 at the Danie Craven Stadium, with a full schedule of matches at both venues that day to determine the final standings.
With the future stars of the Game on show, players will seek to emulate the likes of South African pair Patrick Lambie and Francois Hougaard, who are part of an illustrious list of JWC graduates which also includes New Zealand’s RWC 2011 winners Aaron Cruden, Zac Guildford and Sam Whitelock, Australia’s David Pocock and Will Genia, England’s Courtney Lawes and Ben Youngs and the youngest ever RWC captain, Sam Warburton of Wales.