Under-21 rugby world championship planned

Twelve teams will participate – four from the Six Nations, three from the SANZAR unions, and one each from North America, FIRA-AER, Oceania, ASIA and Argentina.

Dr Syd Millar, chairman of the IRB Technical Committee, said: “The IRB is already involved with FIRA-AER in running the annual World Championship at Under 19 level and we see this as the natural progression.”

It was also agreed that provision should be made in the international schedule for a four-team competition involving Russia, USA, China and Japan to start next year on a date still to be decided.

In view of the fact that the six Pacific Rim Unions will be heavily involved in RWC qualifying matches, it was agreed to cancel the Pacific Rim tournament in 2002 and to postpone it indefinitely.