The USA Rugby’s Junior All-Americans got to finally see where exactly the fruits of their title in the Junior World Rugby Trophy held in Murray, Utah, earned them.
Ranked No. 12 of the 12 teams in the 2013 Junior World Championship, the American U-20s drew with host France (No. 6), England (No. 7) and defending champion South Africa in Pool A, which will be held in La Roche sur Yon, France.
Pool B includes New Zealand, Ireland, Australia and Fiji. Pool C includes Wales, Scotland, Argentina and Samoa.
The tournament, IRB’s showcase event for U-20s teams, will be held from June 5 through June 23.
You can see a full schedule here.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said in an IRB press release: “The (Fédération Française de Rugby) has selected three superb venues in a region that will embrace the event, its players and fans. I have no doubt that France 2013 will be a resounding success that will continue the IRB Junior World Championship success story.”
The 2012 Championship in South Africa set a record for attendance and broadcast viewers, while 35,000 fans saw history being made as South Africa defeated New Zealand to become the first team other than the Baby Blacks to lift the coveted trophy in the five-year history of the event.
A sellout crowd of 3,000 — also deemed very successful — attended the JWRT final in Murray, which was the first international rugby event ever to be hosted in the United States.
Fédération Française de Rugby President Pierre Camou said: “The FFR is extremely pleased and proud to be hosting this prestigious international event. We have always been committed to the promotion of youth through our system and therefore this tournament holds a special importance for us. I am sure it will be a fantastic event.”
IRB Junior World Championship Tournament Director Philippe Bourdarias added: “The IRB Junior World Championship is much more than the action on the pitch. It is about player education, participation and fan engagement and displaying the very best of the host nation. I believe that France 2013 will be a very special Championship for players and fans.”