Do Not Sell My Personal Information
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump RugbyDump
Friday Feb 3, 2017

2017 Under-20s Six Nations: Preview

2017 Under-20s Six Nations: Preview

The Under-20s Six Nations Championship offers a glimpse of the future as the Northern Hemisphere’s most promising players showcase their talent and potential. Aron looks previews the teams ahead of a star-spotting tournament.

Since 2008, some of Europe’s finest players – Wales’ Sam Warburton, Scotland’s Jonny Gray and Ireland’s Garry Ringrose – have featured in this competition and gone on to bigger things.

Names to watch out for at this year’s Six Nations include England centre Jacob Umaga (nephew of New Zealand great Tana) and France prop Daniel Brennan (son of ex-Irish international Trevor).

The beauty of this Under-20s competition is that every year is different from the one before due to its succession policy, making each Championship an unpredictable and exciting contest.

Round One fixtures

Friday 3rd February 2017
Italy U20s v Wales U20s
. Kick-Off 18:00pm.
Venue: Stadio Giovanni Mari, Legnano. Broadcaster: S4C

Friday 3rd February 2017
Scotland U20s v Ireland U20s
. Kick-Off 20:30pm.
Venue: Broadwood Stadium, Glasgow

Saturday 4th February 2017
England U20s v France U20s
. Kick-Off 12:00pm.
Venue: Sandy Park, Exeter. Broadcaster: Sky Sports

Italy U20s

Like their senior counterparts, Italy U20s often struggle to compete in the Six Nations Championship. The Azzurrini have ended up with the Wooden Spoon in six of the nine tournaments to date with three victories over Scotland and a draw against Ireland being the only highlights.

Last year Italy again finished winless and bottom, but did secure 11th place and avoid relegation to the World Trophy with a 41-17 romp over Japan at the 2016 U20s World Championships.

The Italians will take confidence from this result into their home Six Nations’ clashes with Wales, Ireland and France plus England and Scotland away as they seek to avoid another Wooden Spoon.

Coach: Alessandro Troncon

Captain: Marco Riccioni

Prediction: Wooden Spoon

Scotland U20s

Scotland equalled their best U20s Six Nations’ finish of fourth last year and in doing so, upset England 24-6 in what was their first win over the Red Rose at this level.

This feat was later followed by a historic victory over Australia on the opening day of the U20s World Championships last summer before eventually coming eighth.

These two standout results show the overall standard of Scottish rugby at underage, club and international level is on the rise again.

Like their seniors, Scotland U20s too will be competing with Ireland, Wales and Italy at home plus England and France away for a top three finish at the 2017 Six Nations tournament.

Coach: Sean Lineen

Captain:
Callum Hunter-Hill

Prediction: 5th

Ireland U20s

Just three players remain from a much-changed Ireland U20s side which finished third place at last year’s tournament.

Only lock Cillian Gallagher, out-half Johnny McPhillips and back-row John Foley return for their second Six Nations as Ireland look to build on the euphoria of last summer’s U20s World Championship.

The Irish defeated Grand Slam winners Wales, 2015 champions New Zealand and Argentina on their way to making the final, where they lost out to hosts England.

However, it was Ireland’s best finish at the U20s World Championships and are looking to push on at the 2017 Six Nations against England and France at home with Wales, Scotland and Italy away.

Coach: Nigel Carolan

Captain: Jack Kelly

Prediction: 4th

France U20s

Two-time winners France have twice come second since they last lifted the U20s’ Six Nations trophy in 2014 and are hoping to be third time lucky at this year’s tournament.

Les Bleuets finished a disappointing ninth at the U20s World Championships last year losing to semi-finalists Argentina and South Africa in the pool phase.

The French though are often in and around Europe’s top two making them seasonal title challengers and are the second most successful team in the competition after England.

France hope their form does not desert them again when they face Wales and Scotland at home with England, Ireland and Italy away as they hone in on 2017 Six Nations glory.

Coach: Gerald Bastide

Captain: Florian Verhaeghe 

Prediction: 2nd

Wales U20s

Champions Wales welcome back seven of last year’s Grand Slam-winning squad as they bid to defend the title they won for the first time in 2016.

They secured the Slam with a 35-6 triumph over Italy following four impressive performances, which featured a first away success over England (42-16) at this level.

Wales though were undone at the U20s World Championships losing to Ireland, New Zealand twice (the second a 71-12 hammering), with a fortunate 10-9 win against Georgia and victory over Scotland salvaging seventh spot.

The Welsh open their campaign against Italy knowing that a good start is imperitive with home tests against England and Ireland plus away trips to France and Scotland to come.

Coach: Jason Strange

Captain: Will Jones

Prediction: 3rd

England U20s

World Rugby U20s winners England will be looking regain and secure their sixth Six Nations ahead of their World Championship defence in Georgia next summer.

The English finished a disappointing fifth at the 2016 tournament, losing four of their five matches as they tamely surrendered their 2015 crown to Wales.

However, there was an emphatic turnaround in fortune at the U20s World Championships as hosts England swept aside all before them to lift their third World title at this level.

Following their success last summer, the Red Rose are expected to do better at this year’s Six Nations as they face France, Scotland and Italy at home with Wales and Ireland away.

Coach: Rory Teague

Captain: Ben Earl

Prediction: Winners

ADVERTISEMENT

Related Articles

  • 61 WEEKS AGO

    scottish prop saves fire victim

  • 65 WEEKS AGO

    New Rugby X tournament insane

  • 92 WEEKS AGO

    Vunipola stands by his comments supporting...

ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 1 DAY AGO

    John Leslie's unbelievable 1999 try was the fastest ever scored from kick off in Test rugby

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    It's 30 years since France scored that epic 'Try of the Century' from beneath their posts

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Amazing acrobatic skills set up early try in Pro D2 Friday night clash

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: Arguably the most insane three minutes of Fijian rugby history

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Jonny Wilkinson's iconic performance that ripped Ireland apart in 2002

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Re-live the utter madness that unfolded late in the 2009 Challenge Cup final

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: The HUGE Currie Cup hit South African fans have been raving about

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Ex-internationals discuss unfortunate forearm incident which left Tonga international motionless

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Brutal reaction to eye gouging leads to HUGE ban for Gloucester flanker

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: Springbok fans celebrate Liam Williams' game-losing error in 2014

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 1 DAY AGO

    WATCH: Eben Etzebeth puts the world on notice with surprising positional switch

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    James Haskell defends McDonald's role in latest YouTube rant

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Re-live THE Mike Phillips Six Nations try which still angers Irish fans to this day

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Fijian winger cops heavy ban after that referee lifting incident that went viral and blew up his phone

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Vakatawa blows crucial try in terrible blooper, similar to Kunitani in 2014

View All

Funnies

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Fijian wing who lifted a referee like Lion King now faces a disciplinary hearing

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Referee JP Doyle reacts to hilarious moment red card was dished out after bizarre celebration

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Without doubt one of the funniest red cards in the history of rugby

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Nigel Owens produces comedy gold by forgetting crucial piece of kit during Pro14 clash

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    The VERY BEST examples of when rugby players celebrate too early

View All

Amateur

  • 12 WEEKS AGO

    Viral video of Scottish club brawl goes down a storm with rugby community

  • 49 WEEKS AGO

    RUGBYDUMP BLITZ: This Best of the Week round up is sure to entertain you

  • 50 WEEKS AGO

    RD BLITZ - Disaster, just when it looked so promising...

  • 50 WEEKS AGO

    That glorious moment that will live on forever, like it or not

  • 50 WEEKS AGO

    RD Blitz - PROP'S Lionel Messi wizardy creates incredible try

View All

Player Features

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Brian Moore on money in modern rugby and how it should never be compared to 'outlier' football

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Tuisova's wrecking ball montage will make you grateful you never made it as a pro

  • 9 WEEKS AGO

    New Zealand rugby pod admit Owen Farrell is world class

  • 9 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bath prop launches Amazon documentary focused on those from non-traditional backgrounds

  • 11 WEEKS AGO

    The highs and lows of Yoann Huget after he announced his retirement

View All
2017 Under-20s Six Nations: Preview | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos