The BMW Australia U20s will host arch rivals New Zealand as well as Fiji and Samoa at the Oceania Rugby U20s Championship to be held at Bond University, Gold Coast in May.
Australia will be looking to win the Championship for the first time, having competed in each year’s tournament since 2015. In 2016, Australia U20s defeated New Zealand in a thrilling match to level the series at 1-1; the first-time Australia had defeated New Zealand at U20s level.
The tournament, now in its third year is the only international U20s tournament for Rugby players in the Southern Hemisphere and provides greater match preparation heading into the World Rugby U20s Championship in Georgia this June.
BMW Australia U20s Head Coach, Simon Cron said: “The Oceania U20s Championship will provide a great challenge for our squad against three strong sides.
“We are having a camp during this period so it will allow us to test combinations as well as coach the skills required to allow us to play our style of Rugby in Georgia.
“We must use this tournament as a testing ground to finalise the squad as well as coach three players deep in every position. We only have a total of five days with these guys before our first game so we need to make sure we use every second.”
“New Zealand, Samoa and Fiji will be at different stages in their preparation and we just need to focus on our processes during the games and then spending some serious times in reviewing games so we can get knowledge and understanding within the squad”.
ARU National Performance Programs Manager, Adrian Thompson said: “The ARU is very appreciative of the efforts of Oceania Rugby to secure the future of this competition.
The Championship has continued to grow each year and gives each participating nation further opportunity to test themselves before competing at the World Rugby U20s Championship.
“The success of the Six Nations U20s has benefited those nations and this tournament will go a long way in narrowing the preparation gap.”
2017 Oceania Rugby U20s Championship Fixtures:
Round 1, Friday 28 April
New Zealand v Fiji, 5.00pm AEST
Australia v Samoa, 7.00pm AEST
Round 2, Tuesday 2 May
New Zealand v Samoa, 3.00pm AEST
Australia v Fiji, 5.00pm AEST
Round 3, Saturday 6 May
Samoa v Fiji, 5.00pm AEST
Australia v New Zealand, 7.00pm AEST
All matches will be played at Bond University’s Rugby Fields on the Gold Coast.