CAPE TOWN – The Junior Springboks will kick off the World Rugby Under-20 Championship campaign against Georgia in the southern French city of Perpignan on Wednesday, 30 May.
The encounter, which will be hosted at Stade Aimé Giral at 18h30 (SA time), is the opening match of the tournament, World Rugby announced on Wednesday.
Chean Roux’s team, who have been drawn in Pool C, will play their two remaining pool matches against Ireland on Sunday, 3 June, and hosts France on Thursday, 7 June, at the Stade d’Honneur du Parc des Sports et de l'Amitié in Narbonne at 16h30 and 21h00 (SA time) respectively.
The two semi-finals will be hosted on Tuesday, 12 June, in Narbonne and Perpignan respectively, while all 12 participating teams will be in action in Beziers on Sunday, 17 June, for the final day of matches, which will conclude with the Final, at Stade de la Méditerranée.
Defending champions, New Zealand, who have been drawn in Pool A with Australia, Wales and Japan, will meet Japan in their opening match in Narbonne, while 2017 runners-up, England, who take on Scotland, Italy and Argentina in Pool B, will meet Argentina in their opening match.
The Junior Springboks will kick off their preparations for the international spectacle next week with a four-day training camp in Stellenbosch from Tuesday to Friday next week, with a group of 41 players.
“The announcement of the match venues as we prepare to kick off our preparations is great news and it has boosted our excitement for the tournament,” said Roux.
“These towns are renowned for their deep passion for rugby, so it is going to be a special experience for us all.”
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “The scene is set for a superb World Rugby U20 Championship in France. We have three excellent host cities, great venues and a compelling match schedule.
“It will be fascinating to see who will join the likes of Sam Warburton, Nemani Nadolo, Sam Whitelock, David Pocock and Yoann Maestri in graduating from the tournament to become Test stars.”
Junior Springbok fixtures at the World Rugby U20 Championship (SA kick-off times, all TBC by World Rugby):
SA v Georgia – Wednesday 30 May, 18h30
SA v Ireland – Sunday, 3 June, 16h30
SA v France – Thursday, 7 June, 21h00
African News Agency (ANA)