World Rugby has announced that France will host the World Rugby U20 Championship in 2018 with matches being played in Béziers, Perpignan and Narbonne.
The five match days will take place on 30 May, 3 June, 7 June, 12 June and 17 June.
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 and Japan
Pool B: England, Scotland, Italy and Argentina
Pool C: South Africa, France, Ireland and 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.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “The World Rugby U20 Championship is a proven finishing school for aspiring international players, with some of the biggest names in the game having graduated amongst a group of more than 550 internationals, including double World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year Beauden Barrett.
“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 U20 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.”
The World Rugby U20 Championship is a key event on the annual global rugby calendar with more than 550 players having graduated since its inception in 2008 to become senior international players.
Previous hosts and winners
2017 Georgia – New Zealand
2016 England – England
2015 Italy – New Zealand
2014 New Zealand – England
2013 France – England
2012 South Africa – South Africa
2011 Italy – New Zealand
2010 Argentina – New Zealand
2009 Japan – New Zealand
2008 Wales – New Zealand