The International Rugby Board has announced that France has been awarded the right to host the IRB Junior World Championship in 2013.
The announcement is a further boost to Rugby’s premier age grade event and comes just five days after New Zealand (above) defeated England in a pulsating final of a record-breaking 2011 Championship in Italy.
The Championship captured the hearts and minds of the Italian public with capacity crowds turning out to watch 30 matches that pitted the world’s best players at Under 20 level against international opposition in a competition that is a proven springboard to the Test arena.
With the IRB Junior World Championship 2012 taking place in South Africa, the awarding of the 2013 event to France underlines the IRB’s commitment to a long-term hosting strategy which enables the Host Union to maximise event and legacy benefits geared towards delivering a world class Championship and boosting participation.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset made the announcement at a special media launch at Versailles attended by stars of the Game past, present and future.
“The International Rugby Board is delighted to be awarding France the right to host the IRB Junior World Championship in 2013,” said Lapasset.
“The Fédération Française de Rugby, with its considerable major event hosting experience, is perfectly positioned to not only deliver an outstanding showcase for the future stars of world Rugby, but also a platform for Rugby to continue to reach out to new audiences and participants across France.”
“With France also having been awarded Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014, this announcement underlines the appetite for hosting major international Rugby events following the tremendous success of Rugby World Cup 2007. I am sure that both events will be tremendously successful.”
FFR President Pierre Camou added: “The Fédération Française de Rugby is proud to have been selected to host the IRB Junior World Championship in 2013. We have two years to deliver an outstanding event that will provide magnificent competition and a base from which to attract more young participants to Rugby in France. We are also proud that the IRB has shown confidence in our capacity to take up the challenge of hosting major international events.”
Since the IRB Junior World Championship began in 2008 almost 100 players have progressed to win full Test caps for their countries, underscoring its significant development role. Many of the players on show in Italy look set to follow the likes of Mathieu Bastareaud, Benjamin Fall and Wencelas Lauret for France, and other graduates including David Pocock, Patrick Lambie, Courtney Lawes and Zac Guildford to Test stardom.