The best Under 20’s Rugby talent will compete in a four nation blockbuster tournament as New Zealand, Samoa, Japan and host Australia come together to compete in the inaugural Oceania Rugby Junior Championship. Kicking off on Friday May 1 at Bond University, Gold Coast the tournament will provide a development opportunity for all teams’ high performance players as well as a competition to compete for national pride. The Championship will also provide teams an opportunity to finalise preparations for the World Rugby Under 20 Championship in Italy in June. For Japan this is the first time they have sent an Under 20’s team to a development competition in Australia. Australian Rugby Union General Manager Pathways and Performance, Ben Whitaker was looking forward to the inaugural tournament. “The Oceania Junior Rugby Championship is excellent opportunity for all countries to develop their up and coming players. As host nation we also thank World Rugby and Oceania Rugby for their support in developing the competition.” “Bond University, a valued partner of Australian Rugby, will provide a world class location and facilities for these international U20 players to prepare and play during the period of the tournament” “I know our Australian side is very much looking forward to the rigours of the competition and to testing themselves in match conditions before heading to the World Championship. “On behalf of the ARU we welcome all participating nations to Australia and wish them all the best for the tournament.” Oceania Rugby Tournament Director, Wayne Schuster promises an exciting championship. “The Inaugural Oceania Rugby Junior Championship is an exciting prospect for Under 20’s players in our region and will give fans the opportunity to see the next generation of players from the four respective nations. “It’s also very exciting to have Japan participate in the competition as they will be looking to build on their preparations for the World Rugby U20s Championship in Italy” Japan defeated Tonga in Hong Kong last year at the World Rugby U20s Trophy, to earn a spot at this year’s World Rugby 20s Championship in Italy. “We are looking forward to watching a great spectacle of Rugby and we strongly encourage people to come and watch the next generation of Rugby stars from Oceania and Japan.” People who are not able to travel to Bond University to watch the tournament will be able to watch through rugby.com.au and oceaniarugby.com through a live stream of each match.