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Daily Archives: December 6, 2017

France to host U20 Championship in 2018

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World Rugby has announced that France will host the Under-20 Championship in 2018 with matches being played in Béziers, Perpignan and Narbonne.

The five match days will take place on May 30, June 3, June 7, June 12 and June 17.

The tournament features three pools of four teams, with the pool winners and the best runner-up progressing to the semi-finals.

Pool A: New Zealand, Australia, Wales, Japan
Pool B: England, Scotland, Italy, Argentina
Pool C: South Africa, France, Ireland, Georgia

Pool matches will be played Stade Aimé Giral in Perpignan, Stade de la Méditerranée in Béziers and the Stade d’Honneur du Parc des Sports et de l’Amitié in Narbonne. The semi-final and final venues will be announced in due course.

“The World Rugby Under-20 Championship is a proven finishing school for aspiring international players, with some of the biggest names in the game having graduated among a group of more than 550 internationals, including double World Rugby Player of the Year Beauden Barrett,” said World Rugby chairperson Bill Beaumont.

“Following the success of Georgia, which broke all social media records, we are delighted to be heading to France and the rugby cities of Narbonne, Béziers and Perpignan. I am sure that the championship will capture the imagination and it will be fascinating to see who graduates to Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.

FFR President Bernard Laporte added: “We are honoured to be hosting the World Rugby Under-20 Championship, which plays an important role in the international development of the sport. It is a proven developer of young talent and players who graduate from France 2018 will go on to compete at the highest-level at future Rugby World Cups, including 2023 in France.

Sunwolves with 5 Saffers for 2018 Super Rugby

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Sunwolves coach Jamie Josephhas named his squad for the 2018 Super Rugby season.

There are five South African-born players named in the Japanese team’s squad.

They include lock Grant Hattingh, prop Ruan Smith, wing Gerhard van den Heever and loose forwards Willie Britz and Wimpie van der Walt, who recently made his international debut for Japan.

Britz, a former Cheetahs and Lions player, was a regular member of the Sunwolves squad in the 2017 season, while South Africans will remember Hattingh as a having previously represented the Bulls.

Smith is a former Brumbies and Western Province front ranker, while Van den Heever previously represented the Bulls and Stormers.

The Sunwolves ended last season bottom of the South African Group with only two wins.

The Sunwolves will compete in the Australasian Conference in the new-look Super Rugby format next year.

They open their 2018 campaign on February 24 against the Brumbies in Tokyo.

Sunwolves 2018 Super Rugby squad:

Keita Inagaki, Asaeli Aivalu, Jiwon Koo, Ruan Smith, Craig Millar, Jaba Bradvadze, Shota Horie, Grant Hattingh, Sam Wykes, Kazuki Imeno, Uwe Helu, Edward Quirk, Shunsuke Nunomaki, Wimpie van der Walt, Willie Britz, Michael Leitch, Fumiaki Tanaka, Yu Tamura, Hayden Parker, Harumichi Tatekawa, Timoth Lafaele, Gerhard van den Heever, Kenki Fukuoka, Akihit Yamada, Lamano Lava Lemeki, Robbie Robinson

13 against 15- Varsity Cup new power play

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Varsity Cup captains will be able to remove any two nominated backline players from the opposition for three minutes of playing time during matches next year.

The Power Play, which will also be part of the 2018 Varsity Shield, can only be called by a team while in their own half, must be called by the captain, and can only be called once. If the team whose players have been removed score a try during the Power Play period, they are awarded an extra two points (seven points before the conversion).

‘Yellow and red cards are such integral aspects of rugby, yet players and coaches worldwide struggle to deal with the change in personnel,’ said Duitser Bosman, CEO of Varsity Cup and Varsity Shield.

‘This innovative new rule will foster a generation of rugby players who will be able to defend with fewer teammates on the field and will know how to fully utilise a numerical advantage.’

University of Western Cape coach Chester Williams believes the Power Play rule will bring an exciting edge to the competition.

‘The new rule will be good for players, coaches and, most of all, spectators going into next year’s competition, as it keeps the game fresh. Power Play will really keep the game fluid and allow for some innovative thinking from the coaches.

‘It will be tactically and strategically challenging for all of the coaches, and will be interesting to see how other coaches react.’

The Varsity Cup will kick off on 29 January and the Varsity Shield on 19 February.