The IRB has claimed unprecedented interest in hosting the two editions of its second tier age grade tournament. The Board said it has taken a dual announcement strategy to allow both unions increased preparation time and maximised legacy opportunities. Chile staged the inaugural edition of the Junior World Trophy in 2008, with the event set to return to the country after a record-breaking 2012 tournament hosted by USA Rugby in Salt Lake City in June.
“The IRB is fully committed to the development of the game in South America and Asia and has worked hard with member unions in recent years to provide increased international opportunities for teams from both these key regions where rugby is on the rise,” said IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset. “The JWRT has proved a huge hit among players and fans alike, with its unique blend of entertaining and high-quality matches played by some of our brightest young stars in territories which are embracing the sport and its values. I am sure a return to Santiago and a first-ever visit to Hong Kong will provide memorable and vibrant editions of the much-loved tournament.”
South America is one of rugby’s fastest-growing regions, with a 25% increase in the playing population since the inaugural Junior World Trophy. Hong Kong has successfully hosted the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens as part of the HSBC Sevens World Series for over a decade as well as HSBC Asian 5 Nations Top 5 matches.