Juniors to get own Championship?

Sun, 29 Jun 2014 21:59
Large dawie theron

Jan de Koning reports on the prospects of a four-nations Rugby Championship style tournament for juniors.

The Northern Hemisphere has had a distinct advantage going into the annual Junior World Championship, but that may soon evaporate.

South African Under-20 coach Dawie Theron said discussions are underway to organise a four-nations Rugby Championship style tournament for juniors

The reason is that when the Six Nations teams - England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France and Italy - get into the play-offs of the IRB JWC they have the experience of a tough competition to fall back on.

"They play that [Six Nations U20 competition] a few months before going to the [Junior] World Cup," Theron said, in reaction to his team's one-point loss to England in the Final in Auckland earlier this month.

"We are going to work very hard on wiping out that edge [the Northern Hemisphere teams have]," the Baby Bok coach said.

Theron said while they lost, 20-21, in the Final, they feel they can take England on any day.

Asked about the possibility of a four-nations, Rugby Championship-like competition for juniors, Theron said that is not a decision that coaches can make.

"However, one of the plans we have, and I have discussed this with some people, is that at coaching level that are interest - both from Australia, New Zealand and even Argentina," Theron told rugby365.

"The key is where and how do we fit it in [to existing calendar].

"Financially it will pose some serious questions.

"It is indeed an idea [that has been put out there] and we have to try and drive it.

"If it is viable it will be a fantastic opportunity for all of us.

"Just look how fast the players are coming through already.

"Earlier we said that player X could perhaps tour [with the senior Springboks] at the end of the year and there is Handré Pollard in the Bok squad already."

By Jan de Koning

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