50 days to go until JWRT 2013 kicks off

(IRB.COM) Monday 8 April 2013
 50 days to go until JWRT 2013 kicks off
Antofagasta in northern Chile will welcome eight teams for JWRT 2013

With 50 days to go until the start of the sixth IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy, the clock is ticking for eight nations representing the six IRB Regional Associations. They will all meet in Northern Chile, for what promises to be yet another exciting age grade tournament showcasing young talent from around the world.

The IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy will be played over four rounds from May 28 to June 9 in Antofagasta.

As part of its strategy to develop future stars of world Rugby, the International Rugby Board heavily invests in two Under 20 tournaments, providing high performance pathway structures for age grade players.

With a place at next year’s IRB Junior World Championship in New Zealand awaiting the winner, the stakes are high for the eight teams participating in this year's Trophy.

The competition is yet another building block in the growth of Rugby in South America. With the return of Rugby to the Olympic Games in Rio 2016, the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy is sure to encourage more people to get involved, in tandem with the IRB's Get Into Rugby initiative to grow the Game.

Hosts Chile were involved in the first JWRT final, in 2008, and will hope to replicate USA's achievement in 2012 by winning the title on home soil. More than 50 players who played in the inaugural Junior World Rugby Trophy in Santiago have gone on to play on the Test stage, including 15 of the Chile side who were runners-up to Uruguay.

"It's clear how important this international tournament will be for the community of one of the most important cities in Chile,” said Santiago Ramallo, IRB Regional Development Manager for South America.

“There is a growing interest in Rugby in the region and having eight national teams competing in such an exciting event will certainly enhance the standing of our game in Chile and South America."

“This tournament will be another building block for Rugby in South America, a region that is experiencing constant growth." 

Chile will be joined at the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2013 by two former winners in Italy and Uruguay, as well as three-time runners up Japan, Canada, Tonga, Namibia and debutants Portugal.

Fans are expected to flock to Antofagasta, known locally as "the Pearl of the North". Local representatives are looking forward to staging an unforgettable tournament and welcoming fans.

“For Antofagasta, it is very important to host this international tournament; as we support all forms of sport and want to use the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy to attract tourism,” said Antofagasta Mayoress Karen Rojo.

“I invite all Rugby fans to come and enjoy our beautiful city, beaches and perfect weather.”