Fiji, Samoa added to Oceania U-20s
NEWS: Fiji and Samoa have been added to the Oceania Under-20s Championship as the competition is expanded to four nations in 2017, joining New Zealand and tournament hosts Australia on the Gold Coast this May.
The tournament is now in its third year but for the first time will have representation from four Pacific powers as all four nations continue their preparation for the World U-20 Championship to be held in Georgia in June.
Despite an unheralded victory by Australia over New Zealand last year, New Zealand has won every version of the tournament since 2015.
Some graduates from the Championship who have made the transition to professional teams include Anton Lienert-Brown (Chiefs), Jordie Barrett (Hurricanes), Blake Gibson (Blues), Andrew Kellaway (Waratahs), Adam Korczyk (Reds) and Jonah Placid (Rebels).
"We are very excited to see this competition expand with Fiji and Samoa participating alongside New Zealand and Australia.
"Each year the tournament's standards have continued to rise and it is a great opportunity for people to see the next generation of potential stars come together to play in what will be an outstanding tournament.
"We look forward to seeing these sides play in this international competition at the Oceania tournament and to go on and perform on the World stage at the World U20 Championship in June," Bruce Cook, World Rugby Services Manager-Oceania, said.
2017 Oceania Championship fixtures:
(Bond University; all times are local GMT plus 10)
Friday, April 28
17.00: New Zealand v Fiji
19.00: Australia v Samoa
Tuesday, May 2
15.00: New Zealand v Samoa
17.00: Australia v Fiji
Saturday, May 6
17.00: Samoa v Fiji
19.00: Australia v New Zealand