The 2016 version of the IRB Junior World Championships kick-off tomorrow as England host the competition for the first time. New Zealand and England have dominated this competition since its inception in 2008, with the Kiwi’s winning the trophy on five occasions and England twice.
Twelve teams take part this year, with the hosts in Pool B alongside Australia, Scotland and Italy. New Zealand are in a tough Pool A with Ireland, Wales and 2017 hosts Georgia. In Pool C it’s Argentina, France, Japan and South Africa.
The Championships is seen as a great stepping stone for these young players, as it builds strength of character alongside experience of top-class rugby played in an extremely competitive environment. Many previous players have gone on to represent their countries at senior level.
It will be interesting to see which players come through this year’s event and go on to be superstars in their own right.