TOP BAR - Fixtures

World Rugby U20 Championship to be broadcast to 111 countries

The eyes of the world will be on Sale Sharks’ AJ Bell Stadium in Salford this month, as the World Rugby Under-20 Championship is set to be broadcast to more than 151 million homes globally.

The Aviva Premiership Rugby venue is set to host over half of the matches from the competition, including the final, with the Championship heading to English soil for the first time.

Plenty of matches are already sold out with fans desperate to get their first look at the future stars of world rugby, and the tournament kicks off in Manchester on June 7.

It continues until Saturday 25 June, with some games also set to be played at Manchester City Academy Stadium, before Sale Sharks will host the final match – and plenty of Aviva Premiership Rugby stars will hope to be involved.

The likes of Northampton Saints’ Harry Mallinder, Harlequins’ Joe Marchant, and London Irish pair Theo Brophy Clews and Johnny Williams will already be familiar to fans of Aviva Premiership Rugby having started multiple times this term in the top flight of English rugby.

But 24 of the 28 man squad have been provided from the academies of Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs, and Sale’s George Nott in particular will be hopeful of adding to his four Under-20s caps on home soil.
 
WHERE TO WATCH THE U20 CHAMPIONSHIP >>
 
New Zealand clinched the title in Italy last year and also won the event from 2008-11 with South Africa winning the competition on home soil in 2012.
 
Hosts England lifted the coveted trophy in 2013 and 2014, just missing out on a hat-trick of wins when they were beaten in a thrilling final by New Zealand in 2015.
 
Sky Sports will broadcast the tournament in the UK with other major broadcasters coming on board to beam the action across the globe. 
 
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE U20 CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 POOLS AND FIXTURES >>
 
More than 400 players have made the jump from the ranks of the U20 Championship (formerly JWC) since 2008, with many graduates such as South Africa's Handré Pollard and Jesse Kriel, New Zealand's Beauden Barrett, Julian Savea and Aaron Smith, England's George Ford and Owen Farrell and Wales captain Sam Warburton all currently stars on the world stage. 
 
World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper said: "The level of interest in this premier age-grade tournament is increasing massively each year. This June, fans from more than 110 countries around the world will watch the future stars of the game thrill and excite in Manchester, and I've no doubt we'll see many of them do the same at the Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019.
 
"With broadcasters such as ESPN in the United States and Canal+ in France joining other major broadcasters around the world in showing matches, it's a fantastic opportunity to really grow the game in new and traditional rugby markets."
 
CLICK HERE FOR WORLD RUGBY TV >>
 
With just a few days to go until kick-off, tickets are selling quickly for the tournament in Manchester. Fans can buy tickets here.  

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