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France follows Rugby World Cup success with U20 Championship rights

World Rugby has announced that France will host its U20 Championship in 2018, with matches being played in Béziers, Perpignan and Narbonne.

The national team tournament is staged annually, with Georgia hosting this year’s edition from May 31 to June 18.

France 2018 will take place from May 30 to June 17. Pool matches will be played at Stade Aimé Giral in Perpignan, Stade de la Méditerranée in Béziers and Stade d’Honneur du Parc des Sports et de l'Amitié in Narbonne. The semi-final and final venues will be announced in due course.

The tournament features three pools of four teams, with the pool winners and the best runner-up progressing to the semi-finals. New Zealand are the reigning champions having defeated England 64-17 in this year’s final.

French Rugby Federation (FFR) president Bernard Laporte said: “We are honoured to be hosting the World Rugby U20 Championship, which plays an important role in the international development of the sport. It is a proven developer of young talent and players who graduate from France 2018 will go on to compete at the highest-level at future Rugby World Cups, including 2023 in France.”

France last month landed the rights to the 2023 World Cup, despite the recommendation in South Africa's favour made by the Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) Board in October.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said: “The World Rugby U20 Championship is a proven finishing school for aspiring international players, with some of the biggest names in the game having graduated amongst a group of more than 550 internationals, including double World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year Beauden Barrett.

“Following the success of Georgia, which broke all social media records, we are delighted to be heading to France and the rugby cities of Narbonne, Béziers and Perpignan.”