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Manchester lands 2016 World Rugby U20 Championship

The English city of Manchester will stage the 2016 World Rugby U20 Championship, rugby union’s global governing body announced today (Tuesday).

The tournament will be hosted by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and take place at the AJ Bell Stadium and Manchester City Academy Stadium in June next year.

World Rugby chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “The U20 Championship in England next year will be another excellent opportunity for the future stars of world rugby to showcase their skills on the world stage, following what's shaping up to be a record-breaking Rugby World Cup.

“Manchester will provide an excellent base for the world's top under-20 teams, and it's a great opportunity to bring a world-class rugby event to the city and grow the game even further in the region. With so many graduates of the U20 Championship now excelling in the international test arena, this tournament, coupled with the Rugby World Cup, will leave a great legacy for others to build on in the years to come.”

England will defend its title when it takes on New Zealand in the final of the current, ongoing U20 Championship in Cremona, Italy this Saturday. The Rugby World Cup will take place in England later this year, with Premier League football club Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium serving as a host venue.

RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie said: “We are honoured to be hosting the World Rugby U20 Championship in England next year. We have a tremendous opportunity to grow the game in this country after October’s tournament, and create a legacy for generations to come. The appointment of the Championship to the RFU is another significant step forward in helping us achieve that goal, ensuring that rugby is accessible in all areas of the country.”