The International Rugby Board (IRB) has announced that the 2015 edition of its Junior World Championship under-20 national team tournament will take place in the Italian regions of Lombardia and Emilia Romagna.
Italy was awarded hosting rights by the IRB in November 2012 in a joint announcement that also confirmed New Zealand as the host country of the 2014 event, which took place earlier this year. At the time, the IRB did not specify where in Italy the 2015 Junior World Championship would take place.
The IRB has now confirmed that the 2015 event will be staged in Parma, Viadana, Calvisano and Cremona from June 2-20, 2015. The final will take place in Cremona on June 20.
Next year will mark the second occasion that Italy has staged the Junior World Championship, having previously hosted the event in 2011. The 2015 tournament will take place just months before the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
“The last tournament provided a magnificent prelude to Rugby World Cup 2011, and I have no doubt the Junior World Championship will be even better again next year,” IRB tournament director Philippe Bourdarias said. “After viewing the facilities available to teams in the Lombardia and Emilia Romagna region, I predict a top tournament that will captivate the imagination of rugby fans, both in Italy and around the globe.”
Alfredo Gavazzi, president of the Italian Rugby Federation, added: “We took the decision to appoint Lombardy as the host region because we strongly believe that such an important competition will be a fantastic tool for the promotion of our game. The region of Emilia Romagna also has a strong rugby tradition, where Stadio XXV Aprile is home to Zebre games. The future stars of world rugby playing at Parma’s Cittadella del Rugby will certainly boost the growth and development of our game even further in the region.”