With two weeks to go till the start of the World Rugby U20 Trophy 2019, the anticipation is growing in Brazil as the country prepares to host its first major global 15s tournament.
Building on the exceptional success of rugby sevens at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the rapid growth of the sport in Brazil, the 12th edition of the annual global age-grade tournament will take place in São José dos Campos from 9-21 July. Teams will compete over four match days for the title and the ultimate prize of promotion to the U20 Championship 2020 in Italy.
The official launch of the tournament took place on Tuesday at the Palácio dos Bandeirantes, the seat of the São Paulo State Government, where the President of the Confederação Brasileira de Rugby (Brasil Rugby), Eduardo Mufarej, and World Rugby Vice Chairman, Agustín Pichot were joined by local dignitaries including the Vice Governor and the Sports and Tourism Secretaries of the State of São Paulo, the Director of High Performance Sport of São José dos Campos, players and sponsors.
It will be Brazil’s first appearance in the U20 Trophy and their first time as hosts of a major global World Rugby 15s event, as rugby in the sport-loving nation continues to go from strength to strength.
The hosts will face 2017 champions Japan, along with Kenya and Uruguay in Pool A, while in Pool B, Tonga, Canada, Portugal and Hong Kong will battle it out for top spot.
The tournament closely follows the World Rugby U20 Championship, which concluded in neighbouring Argentina on Saturday, and the World Rugby Nations Cup, which was hosted by Uruguay earlier in June, and demonstrates World Rugby’s commitment to growing the game and providing greater exposure to elite competitions in South America. The growing success of rugby in Brazil echoes that of the wider South American region, which now boasts 680,000 players across the continent.
Speaking from the launch event, World Rugby Vice-Chairman, Agustín Pichot, said: “The future of rugby in Brazil is looking very bright thanks to the rapid growth of the sport here and across the region. As first-time participants and hosts, the World Rugby U20 Trophy is a fantastic milestone on Brazil’s journey as a rugby playing nation.
The tournament offers a platform to develop the players who will become the stars of the future in many of the emerging nations of rugby. To date 460 players have successfully made the transition from appearing in the U20 Trophy to achieving senior test player status.
All matches across the four matchdays on 9, 13, 17 and 21 July will take place in the Estádio Martins Pereira in São José dos Campos.
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Tonga vs Canada 6pm
Japan vs Brazil 8pm
Kenya vs Uruguay 11pm
Portugal vs Hong Kong 1am
Saturday, July 13, 2019
Tonga vs Hong Kong 6pm
Japan vs Uruguay 8pm
Portugal vs Canada 11pm
Kenya vs Brazil 1am
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Hong Kong vs Canada 6pm
Tonga vs Portugal 8pm
Japan vs Kenya 11pm
Uruguay vs Brazil 1am
Sunday, July 21, 2019
Group A 4th vs Group B 4th -6pm
Group A 3rd vs Group B 3rd -8pm
Group A 2nd vs Group B 2nd -11pm
Group A 1st vs Group B 1st -1am
Kenya U20 squad
Ian Njenga(Nondescripts RFC), Bonface Ochieng(Kenya Harlequins)- Captain, Rotuk Rahedi(Millfield School), Emanuel Silungi(Menengai Cream Homeboyz), Hibrahim Ayoo(Menengai Oilers),
James Mcgreevy(Kenya Harlequins), Brian Amaitsa(Nondies), Sheldon Kahi(Blakblad RC) Samuel Asati(KCB RC)-VC, Dominic Coulson(Unattached)-VC, Timothy Okwemba(MMUST),
Owain Ashley(Merchiston Castle School), John Okoth(Top Fry Nakuru), Geoffrey Okwach(KCB RC), Jeff Mutuku(Kenya Harlequins), Wilfred Waswa(Northern Suburbs), Collins Obure(Blakblad RFC),
Ian Masheti(Resolution Impala Saracens), Frank Aduda(Resolution Impala Saracens), George Kyriazi(Merchiston Castle School), Samuel Were(LaiserHill Academy), Barry Robinson(Kabras Sugar RFC),
Douglas Kahuri(Kenya Harlequins), Michele Brighetti(Sedbergh School), Andrew Matoka(Strathmore Leos), Andrew Siminyu(Hillcrest School SA).
Technical Team: Paul Odera(Head Coach), Jimmy Mnene(Team Manager), Michael Owino(Strength and Conditioning Coach), Michael Aung(Forwards Coach), Kenny Andola(Backs Coach),
Stephen Mankone(Team Physiotherapist), James Ondiege(Team Doctor), Edwin Boit(Team Analyst) Mweti Muriithi(Logistics and Operations Assistant)