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Rugby Australia today announced the creation of the U19s Rugby Championship (URC) that will supersede the former Super U20s competition running from September to October each year.
The URC will create a clearer pathway for players into the Junior Wallabies squad and move the season to fit better with the International U20s calendar, Club and School Rugby.
Competing in the competition’s first year will be the Queensland Country U19s, Brisbane City U19s, Western Force U19s, Melbourne Rebels U19s, Brumbies U19s, Sydney U19s, NSW Country Eagles U19s and the Australian Barbarians U19s.
The URC will allow for more game and preparation time for the Junior Wallabies with an extended squad picked from October, to prepare for the World Rugby U20s Championship which is held in June each year.
It will allow for more time with coaches with players and for the next generation of elite Rugby players to have access to high performance programs at the U19s and U20s level.
In the inaugural year the U19s Rugby Championship will be held in Canberra with players staying and training at the Australian Institute of Sport and gaining access to the world class training facilities.
The URC will run from Friday 28 September to Friday 5 October.
Rugby Australia Head of National XVs Programs, Adrian Thompson said: “The U19s Rugby Championship will give us an earlier opportunity to identify them for the Junior Wallabies. It will also provide the states more opportunities to see their up and coming players play more regularly.
“The beauty of the URC, with the timing of it, it will give us opportunity to identify players for the Junior Wallabies earlier and for a lot of School leavers, they will be able to go into a representative program first year out of school.
“19-year-olds will be able to focus on their Club Rugby or School Rugby and then there will be a 4-6-week period to prepare for this Championship and move into the Junior Wallabies Squad.
“It will provide more opportunities for players to be seen by Super Rugby teams.”
The U19s Rugby Championship is a part of the Pathway to Gold program including the Junior Gold Cup (U15s) and the National U16s Championship leading into the Junior Wallabies.
17 SEPTEMBER 2018