England stars helps mark 100 days to go until U20 Championship

01-Mar-2016

 

By worldrugby.org

 

 

The countdown to the World Rugby U20 Championship reached a significant milestone on Monday with only 100 days to go until the tournament kicks off at the AJ Bell Stadium and Manchester City’s Academy Stadium in Manchester.

 

Last weekend saw England's Elliot Daly become the 400th player to graduate from the premier under-20 tournament to the test arena since it was introduced in 2008 with Rugby World Cup, Six Nations and Rugby Championship winners among their ranks.

 

Tournament hosts England have seen 32 players make the step up to the test arena from the under-20s, including Jack Nowell, Owen Farrell and George Ford who were on hand to mark the 100 days to go milestone.

“Winning the U20 Championship was a really significant moment for me,” said Nowell, a member of England's first title-winning of 2013. “To represent England in a final with such a talented group of players was extra special. The list of graduates from the tournament speaks for itself.

 

“To have the competition in England this year will be amazing. I know we massively benefitted from the travelling support we had out in France in 2013, so to have that on home soil will be huge for the U20s players.”

 

CLICK HERE FOR U20 CHAMPIONSHIP FIXTURES

 

Nowell was speaking after another U20 Six Nations weekend where both Wales and Ireland impressed with victories over France and England respectively. Wales are now the only unbeaten side after three rounds, while Ireland handed England their first defeat on home soil for six years and Scotland edged past Italy to climb to third in the table.

 

To mark 100 days to go until the 7 June kick-off, England Rugby have released a Get Involved pack, outlining the ways in which schools, clubs and wider communities can connect with the competition in the Greater Manchester area. Opportunities include adopting a team and putting creative skills to work, taking part in the Trophy Tour or a team welcome ceremony, and competitions to win exclusive experiences. Click here for more information on the initiative.

 

World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset added: “The U20 Championship is a pathway for the future stars of the game to develop and we’ve seen in recent years just how important it has become. With 400 players making the step up from the under-20 ranks to the international test arena, it is now a crucial stepping-stone.

 

"I have no doubt that Manchester will provide an excellent base for the world's top under-20 teams, and it's a great opportunity to bring a world-class rugby event to the city and grow the game even further after a fantastic Rugby World Cup in England last year.”

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