The final round of group games at the 2019 World Rugby U20 Championships take place on Wednesday, and so too the final set of games in Santa Fe.
For the semi final and final stages, the tournament moves exclusively to Roasiro, which thus far has hosted half of the games at the Racecourse Stadium, though the Club Old Resian will host some of the semi final and final round games.
This final round of group games is all about securing those various semi final places, with the three group winners and best runner up heading to the main semi finals. All sides face a semi final of some description though, the remaining two second place sides and best two third place sides will play in the 4th-8th place semis, while the remaining sides meet in the 9th-12th place semis, a key section as the losers of those two meet in a relegation play off.
Australia have already secured a place in the main semi finals after beating Ireland and Italy in Group B. They now face England, who have lost to Ireland and last time out only defeated Italy by a point thanks to a late Josh Hodge penalty, knowing that top spot is guaranteed as even though Ireland can finish level with them, the head to head goes their way.
It could still be enough for Ireland to qualify in second though, it would leave them on 10 points needing favours from other groups but they could pan out. A strong win for either side in the South Africa v New Zealand game in Group C would certainly help. Both are currently on 10 with bonus point wins for both over both Scotland and Georgia. Scotland meanwhile will be hoping to sneak in to the 4th-8th play off or at least secure a high seeding in the 9th-12th semis when they play Georgia.
Over in Group A Wales are in the same position as England, with a high seeding in the 4th-8th play offs their best hope. However France and Argentina are both in contention for a main semi final spot. Reigning champions France are top on ten points, but Wednesday’s opponents Argentina could overtake them as they sit on 6 points.
England’s side to take on Australia in Group B, at 7.30pm live on www.worldrugby.org includes seven changes to the side that so narrowly beat Italy last time out. Former Sedbergh star Josh Hodge moves from full back to left wing as a result of former Kirkham Grammar School flyer Arron Reed’s injury. That moves also sees Tom De Glanville move from fly half to full back, his third start of the tournament, with Manu Vunipola, once of Harrow, coming in at fly half after recovering from concussion against Ireland.
Hodge’s former Sedbergh teammate Cameron Redpath comes in for his clubmate at Sale Sharks, Connor Doherty, the change sees Redpath start at twelve with captain Fraser Dingwall stepping back out from 12 to 13. Sam Maunder is retained at scrum half, while Ollie Sleightholme returns to the side in place of Tom Seabrook on the right wing.
Up front James Kenny comes in at loosehead for Kai Owen, with Joe Heyes coming in at tighthead for Kenny’s Exeter Chiefs clubmate Alfie Petch. Saracens’ Joel Kpoku returns in the second row in place of Alex Coles, while senior cap Ted Hill returns to the starting lineup on the blindside in place on the injured Josh Basham. Alongside Hill are the stalwarts Aaron Hinkley and Rus Tuima, while Richard Capstick keeps his place in the second row along with Will Capon at hooker.
It should be an exciting day in Group B with Australia chasing a high semi final seeding and England looking to put in a first really top performance of the competition. However Ireland v Italy should also be a belter, Italy will feel they deserve a much better reward than their solitary bonus point, while Ireland are chasing for a return to the main semis after reaching the final in 2016. They have made eight changes to the side that lost to Australia last time out, while also making two positional changes as Jake Flannery moves from fly half to full back and Rob Russell switches from there to the wing.
Wales could finish as high as second in their group if they beat Fiji and Argentina lose to France, but they could also finish bottom should Fiji beat them and the right combination of bonus points pans out. They have made five changes to the side that went down against an impressive looking French outfit last time out. Oakham’s Sam Costelow, who is sitting his A Levels out in Argentina, comes in to the centres for Max Llewellyn. Costelow is joined by Leicester Tigers clubmate Tommy Reffell at 7, who starts his third game in a row. Also coming in is Deon Smith on the left wing for Ryan Conbeer, while both props are changed, Tom Devine and Bristol Bears’ Nick English coming in for Kemsley Mathias and Ben Warren, with Morgan Jones coming in for Ed Scragg in the second row.
For Scotland, Wednesday’s game is mainly about momentum heading into what will almost certainly be those 9th-12th place play offs. Having played with some spark against South Africa and New Zealand they were ultimately just outclassed, but they will hope to really show their own quality against Georgia.
They make twelve changes to the side that lost to New Zealand, returning to exactly the same fifteen that took on South Africa in the opener. It means that Heriots’ pair Jack Blain and Rory McMichael, once of Wellington College, and Racing 92’s Ewan Johnson will start all three group games.
Whatever the results, all the sides will have two more games – a semi final and a ‘placings’ final after it on Saturday 22nd June, two of which will be absolutely vital, the main final, and the 11th/12th place final, with the side losing that facing relegation.
All games live on Premier Sports and https://www.world.rugby/u20 with highlights and the final on ITV, all Wales games shown on S4C. In: Foley, Healy, Reilly, McKee, Milne, Ahern, Booth, Allison. Position: Flannery, Russell
World Rugby U20 Championship Group Standings:
Home Nations Team News:
15 Tom de Glanville (Bath Rugby), 14 Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints), 13 Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints, captain), 12 Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks), 11 Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons), 10 Manu Vunipola (Saracens), 9 Sam Maunder (Exeter Chiefs), 1 James Kenny (Exeter Chiefs), 2 Will Capon (Bristol Bears), 3 Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), 4 Joel Kpoku (Saracens), 5 Richard Capstick (Exeter Chiefs), 6 Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors), 7 Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby), 8 Rusiate Tuima (Exeter Chiefs).
Replacements: 16 Nic Dolly (Sale Sharks), 17 Olly Adkins (Gloucester Rugby), 18 Alfie Petch (Exeter Chiefs), 19 Kai Owen (Worcester Warriors), 20 Alex Coles (Northampton Saints), 21 Tom Willis (Wasps Rugby), 22 Ollie Fox (Yorkshire Carnegie), 23 Connor Doherty (Sale Sharks), 24 Luke James (Sale Sharks), 25 Tom Seabrook (Gloucester Rugby).
15 Jake Flannery (Shannon/Munster), 14 Angus Kernohan (Queen’s University/Ulster), 13 Liam Turner (Dublin University/Leinster, captain), 12 Cormac Foley (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), 11 Rob Russell (Dublin University/Leinster), 10 Ben Healy (Garryowen/Munster), 9 Colm Reilly (Buccaneers/Connacht), 1 Josh Wycherley (Young Munster/Munster), 2 John McKee (Old Belvedere/Leinster), 3 Michael Milne (UCD/Leinster), 4 Thomas Ahern (Shannon/Munster), 5 Ryan Baird (Dublin University/Leinster), 6 David McCann (Banbridge/Ulster), 7 Ciaran Booth (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby), 8 Azur Allison (Ballymena/Ulster).
Replacements: 16 Declan Adamson (Clontarf/Leinster), 17 Thomas Clarkson (Dublin University/Leinster), 18 Charlie Ward (Clontarf/Leinster), 19 Dylan Tierney-Martin (Corinthians/Connacht), 20 Charlie Ryan (UCD/Leinster), 21 Niall Murray (Buccaneers/Connacht), 22 Luke Clohessy (Shannon/Munster), 24 Craig Casey (Shannon/Munster), 25 Jonathan Wren (Cork Constitution/Munster), 26 David Ryan (UCD/Leinster), 27 Aaron O’Sullivan (UCD/Leinster), 28 Max O’Reilly (Dublin University/Leinster).
15 Matt Davidson (London Scottish), 14 Rory McMichael (Heriot’s), 13 Cameron Anderson (Wasps), 12 Grant Hughes (Stirling County), 11 Jack Blain (Heriot’s), 10 Ross Thompson (Glasgow Hawks, vc), 9 Roan Frostwick (Currie Chieftains), 1 Murphy Walker (Stirling County), 2 Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks), 3 Euan McLaren (Ayr), 4 Ewan Johnson (Racing 92), 5 Cameron Henderson (Stirling County), 6 Marshall Sykes (Ayr), 7 Connor Boyle (Watsonians, captain), 8 Tom Marshall (Newcastle Falcons).
Replacements: 16 Rory Jackson (Edinburgh Academy), 17 Andrew Nimmo (Glasgow Hawks), 18 Will Hurd (Cardiff Metropolitan University), 19 Mak Wilson (Melrose), 20 Ross Bundy (Stirling County), 21 Jack Hill (Durham University), 22 Kwagga van Niekerk (Lions), 23 Murray Scott (Watsonians), 24 Teddy Leatherbarrow (Sale Sharks), 25 Nathan Chamberlain (Bristol Bears), 26 Robbie McCallum (Complutense Cisneros), 27 Ollie Smith (Ayr), 28 Lomond MacPherson (Watsonians).
15 Ioan Davies (Cardiff Blues), 14 Tomi Lewis (Scarlets), 13 Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler (Ospreys), 12 Sam Costelow (Leicester Tigers), 11 Deon Smith (Dragons), 10 Cai Evans (Ospreys), 9 Dafydd Buckland (Dragons), 1 Tom Devine (Dragons), 2 Dewi Lake (Ospreys, captain), 3 Nick English (Bristol Bears), 4 Morgan Jones (Scarlets). 5 Jac Price (Scarlets), 6 Iestyn Rees (Scarlets), 7 Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers), 8 Jac Morgan (Aberavon/Scarlets).
Replacements: Will Griffiths (Dragons), Garin Lloyd (Ospreys), Rhys Davies (Ospreys), Kemsley Mathias (Scarlets), Ben Warren (Cardiff Blues). Ed Scragg (Dragons), Lennon Greggains (Dragons), Harri Morgan (Ospreys), Ryan Conbeer (Scarlets), Max Llewellyn (Cardiff Blues), Rio Dyer (Dragons).
Matchday 1 – Tuesday 4th June:
Argentina 25-30 Wales
France 36-20 Fiji
Australia 36-12 Italy
England 26-42 Ireland
New Zealand 45-13 Georgia
South Africa 43-19 Scotland
Matchday 2 – Saturday 8th June:
Argentina 41-14 Fiji
France 32-13 Wales
Australia 45-17 Ireland
England 24-23 Italy
South Africa 48-20 Georgia
New Zealand 52-33 Scotland
Matchday 3 – Wednesday 12th June:
Racecourse Stadium, Rosario
Georgia v Scotland – Group C, 2.30pm
France v Argentina – Group A, 5pm
South Africa v New Zealand – Group C, 7.30pm
Club de Rugby Ateneo Inmaculada, Santa Fe
Italy v Ireland – Group B, 2.30pm
Wales v Fiji – Group A, 5pm
England v Australia – Group B, 7.30pm
Matchday 4 – Monday 17th June (Semi Finals):
Racecourse Stadium, Rosario
5th v 8th, 2.30pm
2nd v 3rd, 5pm
1st v 4th, 7.30pm
Club Old Resian, Rosario
10th v 11th, 2.30pm
9th v 12th, 5pm
6th v 7th, 7.30pm
Matchday 5 – Saturday 22nd June (Finals):
Racecourse Stadium, Rosario
5th Place Final, 2.30pm
3rd Place Final, 5pm
World Rugby U20 Championship Final, 7.30pm
Club Old Resian, Rosario
11th Place Final, 2.30pm
9th Place Final, 5pm
7th Place Final, 7.30pm