Host City for IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy

Dublin – Ireland, Dec 17: The International Rugby Board has announced that the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2013 will take place in Antofagasta in northern Chile. Eight teams will participate in next year’s tournament – hosts Chile, Canada, Italy, Japan, Namibia, Portugal, Tonga and Uruguay.

The tournament format will be the same as in previous years, with two pools of four teams. All matches will take place at the Circuito Deportivo Ciudad de Antofagasta venue. The winner of the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2013 will earn promotion to the IRB Junior World Championship 2014 in New Zealand.

In 2012, USA won the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy on home soil in a thrilling final, and will now take part in the premier age-grade IRB Junior World Championship in France.

At the same time, Italy were ranked 12th in the IRB Junior World Championship 2012 that was held in South Africa. They were therefore relegated and will play in the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2013 in Antofagasta. The pools for the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy will be confirmed at a later date, but the tournament will take place from May 28 to June 9, 2013.

The first IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy was held in Chile in 2008 and IRB Tournament Director Santiago Ramallo said it’s a great opportunity to build on the massive success of the inaugural event.

“The tournament is growing every year and with the participation of teams such as Italy, Canada, Japan and Tonga, who’ve played in several IRB Junior World Championships in the past, makes for a very exiting rugby event for the fans,” said Ramallo.

“It’s great to go to Antofagasta as it will leave a massive legacy for Rugby in the region. It’s an exciting time for Rugby in Chile. It continues to develop and grow stronger. International events like this will certainly help to build on the important legacy over the coming years.”

The awarding of the tournament to Antofagasta has been warmly welcomed by the Federación de Rugby de Chile (FERUCHI).

FERUCHI President Francisco Davanzo said: “The designation of Chile as the venue for JWRT 2013 is a stimulus and a huge prize. We feel encouraged by the trust involved in organising an event of this magnitude, but at the same time we feel that it is a reward for the effort and sacrifice which the Rugby Federation of Chile, and all its members, show every day in seeking to improve Rugby in our country.”

“We are proud of this designation, and very committed to respond with a Junior World Rugby Trophy of the highest level organisational and sport. Moreover, doing so in Antofagasta, the capital in the world of copper, is both a satisfaction and challenge. We are going to show that Rugby is also lived intensely far from our capital, and Chile is more than Santiago.”

Thousands of fans are expected to make the trip to Antofagasta, known locally as “The Pearl of the North.” Local representatives are looking forward to staging an unforgettable tournament and welcoming fans.

Pablo Toloza Fernandez, the Mayor of Antofagasta, said: “It is a great opportunity for the sport and the players in our region, which develops the future stars of world Rugby in Antofagasta. As a city, we have all the conditions to host this international event, characterised by the warmth and friendliness of our people. We will show to the whole world, in the most arid desert in the world, you will live with deep passion and experience the best matches.”

More than 50 players who played in the inaugural Junior World Rugby Trophy in Santiago have gone on to play on the Test stage, including 15 of the Chile Under 20 side who were runners up to Uruguay.

Of course, players are not the only ones looking to take their skills to the next level at the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy in 2013. It is also a stage to let referees from around the world showcase their abilities and develop as match officials in a high-pressure, intense environment.

The match days of the tournament will be May 28, June 1, 5 and 9. —- IRB

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