Georgia to host IRB tournament
The International Rugby Board has announced that Georgia will be hosting the Junior World Rugby Trophy in 2011. The tournament will run from May 24 to June 5.
It is the first time that the hosting rights to a major IRB tournament have been awarded to the Georgian Rugby Union.
Eight teams will take part - Canada, Japan, Russia, Samoa, Uruguay, USA, Zimbabwe and hosts Georgia.
They will be divided into two pools of four each, playing round robin matches on 24 May, 28 May, 1 June and 5 June, after which there will be knockout rounds. The winner will be promoted to the Junior World Championship in 2012.
Bernard Lapasset, the Chairman of the IRB, said: "The IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy has grown to become a major fixture on the annual Rugby calendar, providing the participating Unions with an invaluable competition and development platform.
"Yet the tournament is not all about exposure for the teams, it is also about taking a major international Rugby tournament to new territories, to leave an administration legacy with the hosting Union and to deliver a golden opportunity to grow the game.
"I am delighted that the Junior World Rugby Trophy 2011 will be hosted in Georgia and would like to thank the Georgian Rugby Union for their enthusiasm, dedication and commitment to hosting a tournament that will not just be successful on the pitch, but will leave a lasting legacy for growth and participation off it," he added.
Georgian Rugby Union President George Nijaradze commented: "This is a very exciting time for rugby in Georgia with Rugby World Cup qualification secured for a third successive tournament creating huge interest in the country’s number one team sport.
"Government and IRB funding have provided two Rugby Academies in Tbilisi and Kutaisi where age-grade players can get advice on conditioning, nutrition and professional sport as part of our Long-Term Athlete Development.
"We are very pleased to host a major tournament as part of our ongoing development and look forward to welcoming the eight teams here next summer for a wonderful festival of age-grade rugby."
Italy won the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy in 2010 and were promoted to the IRB Junior World Championship 2011.