Preview: U20 Championship, Finals

Sat, 17 Jun 2017 10:51
Large new zealand luke jacobson

UNDER-20 CHAMPIONSHIP SPOTLIGHT: The two most successful teams in Under-20 Championships history,  New Zealand and England will contest the 2017 Championship final on Sunday, June 18.

Since the start of the tournament in 2008, the two sides have won eight titles between them, five for New Zealand and three for England.

Both teams are unbeaten thus far, which provide a platform for an enthralling final.

Defending champions England won all their pool matches and reached their fifth successive final after a titanic battle with the Junior Springboks in the first semifinal, one only settled when captain Zach Mercer went over for his second try with four minutes to go to secure his side a 24-22 victory.

New Zealand, the five-time champions who have won all of their previous meetings with England in the title decider, survived France's second-half comeback with a 39-26 victory.

England U20 head coach Ian Vass praised his side's achievements and stated that their rough road to the final has prepared the side well for the inform New Zealand team.

"We have had a tougher route to the final than New Zealand however tight games bring the best out of the players and the team, and we have shown how to come out on top," said Vass.

"Throughout the competition we haven’t put too much pressure on winning and it has been learning as a group.

"Each team we play has different strengths and the team we have picked will give us the best opportunity of winning. It would be fantastic achievement for the players to lift the trophy on Sunday and they are all excited to get on the field," he added.

In the third-place play-off, South Africa will take on France. The two sides played to a 23-all draw in their opening fixture of the round robin phase. The hero of that match, Curwin Bosch misses the third-place fixture due to an ankle injury. Manie Libbok dons the number 10 jumper, while  Jeanluc Cilliers starts at fullback.

Zain Davids returns and will start in the loose trio with Junior Bok captain Ernst van Rhyn and No 8 Juarno Augustus after serving his suspension.

The Junior Springboks head coach Chean Roux is expecting a physical onslaught from France, who finished as the runners-up in the U20 Six Nations competition earlier this season, and said the first quarter would be vital.

"I think they are going to try to slow the game down and they will want to come hard at us in the scrums and lineouts," said Roux.

"Knowing the French, the first 20 minutes are going to be crucial as that is where the foundation will be laid. So we have to come out guns blazing and apply pressure on them as quickly as possible,"

Scotland will face Australia for fifth-place before Wales meet Italy in the seventh-place play-off.

Samoa tackle Argentina in the 11th place play-off at Avchala Stadium with the loser relegated to the U20 Trophy in 2018.

FINAL FIXTURES:
(Sunday, June 18 - all games in Tbilisi. Kick-off is local time: GMT plus four hours)

Samoa v Argentina (12.00)
Ireland v Georgia (13.00)
Scotland v Australia (14.30)
South Africa v France (15.30)
Wales v Italy (17.00)
England v New Zealand (18.00)

*Click here for a look at the RESULTS

Confirmed teams:

Samoa v Argentina

Samoa: 15 Alexander Pohla-Muray, 14 Darren Moore, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Taniula Tele'a, 11 Losilosivale Filipo, 10 Kerrod Christian Foaese, 9 Pupi Ah See, 8 Sione Tuipolotu, 7 Caleb Faalili, 6 Wyatt-Misitaga Uauta-Setu, 5 Peato Toeafe, 4 Theodore Avei Solipo, 3 Suetena Asomua, 2 Petelo Ikenasio, 1 Setu Enoka.
Replacements: 16 Frank Tupuola, 17 Afioga Ielemia, 18 Noel Sanft, 19 Shammah-Anthony Solomona, 20 Francis Ah Him, 21 Godinet Tinei, 22 Tagaloa Fonoti, 23 Ricky Pauli Ene.

Argentina: 15 Bautista Delguy, 14 Tomás Malanos (captain), 13 Felipe Maria Freyre, 12 Teo Castiglioni, 11 Luciano González, 10 Tomás Albornoz, 9 Matías Sauze, 8 Nicolàs Walker, 7 Agustín Medrano, 6 Bautista Stávile, 5 Lucas Paulos, 4 Christian Nahuel Milan, 3 Alejandro Luna, 2 José Luis González, 1 Santiago Pullela.
Replacements: 16 Leonel Oviedo, 17 Rodrigo Martínez, 18 Jeremias Tarter, 19 Alfonso Tomas Zottola, 20 Santiago Ruiz, 21 Gonzalo García, 22 Juan B Daireaux, 23 Facundo Ferrario.

Ireland v Georgia

Ireland: 15 Alan Tynan, 14 Michael Silvester, 13 Gavin Mullin, 12 David McCarthy, 11 Calvin Nash, 10 Conor Dean, 9 Jack Stafford, 8 Caelan Doris, 7 Paul Boyle (captain), 6 John Foley, 5 Oisin Dowling, 4 Fineen Wycherley, 3 Charlie Connolly, 2 Ronan Kelleher, 1 Jordan Duggan.
Replacements: 16 Adam Moloney, 17 Joey Conway, 18 Greg McGrath, 19 Jack Regan, 20 Gavin Coombes, 21 Jonny Stewart, 22 Ciaran Frawley, 23 Mark Keane.

Georgia: 15 Miriani Modebadze, 14 Saba Svimonishvili, 13 Bezhani Gavashelishvili, 12 Giorgi Kveseladze, 11 Davit Meskhi, 10 Gela Abzhandadze, 9 Gela Aprasidze, 8 Arseni Machaladze, 7 Ilia Spanderashvili (captain), 6 Beka Saghinadze, 5 Koba Jimsheleishvili, 4 Lashia Jaiani, 3 Guram Papidze, 2 Levan Papidze, 1 Guram Gogichashvili.
Replacements: 16 Levan Tchavtchavadze, 17 Ushangi Tcheishvili, 18 Lasha Tabidze, 19 Tornike Jalagonia, 20 Sandro Mamamtavrishvili, 21 Luka Dvalishvili, 22 Giorgi Tsiklauri, 23 Beka Mamukashvili.

Scotland v Australia

Scotland: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Robbie Nairn, 13 Ross McCann, 12 Stafford McDowall, 11 Darcy Graham, 10 Connor Eastgate, 9 Andrew Simmers, 8 Tom Dodd, 7 Matt Fagerson, 6 Luke Crosbie, 5 Callum Hunter-Hill (captain), 4 Alex Craig, 3 Adam Nicol, 2 Fraser Renwick, 1 George Thornton.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Smith, 17 Fergus Bradbury, 18 Daniel Winning, 19 Hamish Bain, 20 Bruce Flockhart, 21 Charlie Shiel, 22 Josh Henderson, 23 Lewis Berg.

Australia: 15 Liam McNamara, 14 Henry Hurchison, 13 Izaia Perese, 12 Sione Tuipulotu, 11 Semisi Tupou, 10 Hamish Stewart, 9 Harrison Goddard, 8 Reece Hewat, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Harrison Hockings, 4 Ryan McCauley, 3 Shambeckler Vui, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Cody Walker.
Replacements: 16 Efi Maafu, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Gavis Luka, 19 Lachlan Swinton, 20 Rob Valentini, 21 Harry Nucifora, 22 Nick Jooste, 23 Dylan Riley.

South Africa v France

South Africa: 15 Jean-Luc Cilliers, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Damian Willemse, 11 Gianni Lombard, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn (captain), 6 Zain Davids, 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.  
Replacements: 16 Kwenzo Blose, 17 Daniel Jooste, 18 Wikus Groenewald, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Muller Uys, 21 Francois de Villiers, 22 David Brits, 23 Wandisile Simelane.

France: 15 Romain Buros, 14 Lucas Tauzin, 13 Theo Millet, 12 Pablo Uberti, 11 Faraj Fartass, 10 Baptiste Couilloud, 9 Arthur Coville, 8 Selevasio Tolofua, 7 Baptiste Pesenti, 6 Alexandre Roumat, 5 Mickaël Capelli, 4 Florian Verhaeghe (captain), 3 Zakaria El Fakir, 2 Peato Mauvaka, 1 Georges-Henri Colombe.
Replacements: 16 Daniel Brennan, 17 Florian Dufour, 18 Thomas Laclayat, 19 Killian Geraci, 20 Ibrahim Diallo, 21 Thomas Laurent Alex Darmon, 22 Nathan Decron, 23 Arthur Retiere.

Wales v Italy

Wales: 15 Phil Jones, 14 Jared Rosser, 13 Ioan Nicholas, 12 Owen Lane, 11 Ryan Conbeer, 10 Arwel Robson, 9 Reuben Morgan-Williams, 8 James Botham, 7 Will Jones (captain), 6 Shane Lewis-Hughes, 5 Callum Bradbury, 4 Will Griffiths, 3 Kieron Assiratti, 2 Ellis Shipp, 1 Rhys Carre.
Replacements: 16 Owen Hughes, 17 Tom Mably, 18 Steff Thomas, 19 Aled Ward, 20 Syd Blackmore, 21 Dane Blacker, 22 Connor Edwards, 23 Cameron Lewis.

Italy: 15 Massimo Cioffi, 14 Andrea De Masi, 13 Marco Zanon, 12 Dario Schiabel, 11 Giovanni D'Onofrio, 10 Antonio Rizzi, 9 Charly Vincenzo Ernst Trussardi, 8 Giovanni Licata, 7 Michele Lamaro, 6 Jacopo Bianchi, 5 Lorenzo Masselli, 4 Niccolò Cannone, 3 Marco Riccioni (captain), 2 Alberto Rollero, 1 Danilo Fischetti.
Replacements: 16 Massimo Ceciliani, 17 Daniele Rimpelli, 18 Dante Gavrilita, 19 Edoardo Iachizzi, 20 Lodovico Manni, 21 Emilio Fusco, 22 Filippo Di Marco, 23 Andrea Bronzini.

New Zealand v England

New Zealand: 15 Will Jordan, 14 Tima Faingaanuku, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Orbyn Leger, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Ereatara Enari, 8 Marino Mikaele-Tuu, 7 Dalton Papali'i, 6 Luke Jacobson (captain), 5 Samuel Slade, 4 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 3 Pouri Rakete-Stones, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Ezekiel Lindenmuth.
Replacements: 16 JP Sauni, 17 Harrison Allan, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Sam Caird, 20 Tom Christie, 21 Kemara Hauiti-Parapara, 22 Tamati Tua, 23 Josh McKay.

England: 15 Tom Parton, 14 Darren Atkins, 13 Will Butler, 12 Jacob Umaga, 11 Gabriel Ibitoye, 10 Max Malins, 9 Harry Randall, 8 Zach Mercer (captain), 7 Ben Earl, 6 Dino Lamb, 5 Jack Nay, 4 Josh Caulfield, 3 Ciaran Knight, 2 Joe Mullis, 1 Ralph Adams-Hale.
Replacements: 16 Henry Walker, 17 Ollie Dawe, 18 Alex Seville, 19 Justin Clegg, 20 Josh Bayliss, 21 Alex Mitchell, 22 James Grayson, 23 Paolo Odogwu.

Source: @WorldRugby

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UNDER-20 WORLD CUP
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Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
England U20 3 3 0 0 14
Australia U20 3 2 0 1 10
Wales U20 3 1 0 2 6
Samoa U20 3 1 0 3 1
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand U20 3 3 0 0 15
Scotland U20 3 2 0 1 9
Italy U20 3 1 0 2 6
Ireland U20 3 0 0 3 2
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa U20 3 2 1 0 12
France U20 3 2 1 0 11
Argentina U20 3 1 0 2 6
Georgia U20 3 0 0 3 0