The International Rugby Board has announced that Portugal will be the host for next year’s IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy, taking place across two venues in Lisbon.
Following what was a highly successful staging of the tournament in Hong Kong earlier this month, the popular Under 20 event will now return to the Europe region following an impressive bid by Federação Portuguesa de Rugby (FPR) to secure the hosting rights.
With support of local government, along with the backing of the Portuguese Olympic Committee, the FPR’s mission is to grow Rugby participation and profile in a nation where Rugby is beginning to take off again.
Two venues 30 minutes apart will host matches. The National Sports Centre of Jamor and Lisbon University Stadium will be used for the pool stage with the final round of matches being held at the Jamor complex. The venue, which is currently undergoing a renovation of the main stand, will host 7,000 fans.
Important development tournament
IRB Head of Competitions and Performance Mark Egan said: “Since its inception in 2008, the JWRT has established itself as an important development tournament for young players from emerging Unions. More than 170 of them have gone on to represent their country at senior level demonstrating the JWRT’s role as a finishing school for top players.”
“It’s great to see Portugal continuing to make positive progress at Fifteens and Sevens. The FPR put together a great bid with some exciting opportunities to promote the tournament and grow the Game in Portugal. I have no doubt they will host an excellent tournament next year.”
“We are particularly pleased that games will be hosted at the National Sports Centre of Jamor. That facility, which is used as the high-performance centre for Portugal’s national teams, has been renovated thanks in part to a significant contribution by the IRB under our strategic investment programme.”
President of the FPR Carlos Amado da Silva said: “The awarding of the hosting rights for the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2015 is a huge encouragement for us and another great opportunity to emphasise our ability to organise such events. We are delighted to have earned the IRB’s trust and are excited at the possibility to stage such an important event.
Growing passion for Rugby in Portugal
“This tournament is probably the most important Rugby event to be organised in Portugal… The enthusiasm with which government and local officials have supported this initiative and the growing passion of our youth for this fantastic Game are also good indicators for the success of this tournament.”
“The FPR is grateful for the confidence shown by the IRB and we will do everything possible to justify the choice of Portugal as proud hosts of the Junior World Rugby Trophy 2015.”
The 2014 edition of the tournament has just concluded in Hong Kong with Japan making it fourth time lucky, lifting the trophy and also gaining promotion to next year’s IRB Junior World Championship in Italy.
Having been beaten in three previous finals in recent years Japan have consistently challenged for top honours at that level. That sustained quality augers well for the Japanese as they prepare to host Rugby World Cup 2019.
Portugal last played in the JWRT in 2013 when the tournament took place in Chile