9 May 2007

International rugby board announces restructuring

10:49 am on 9 May 2007

The International rugby board has announced a restructuring of its age grade tournament strategy.

From next year an annual sixteen team Junior World Championship and an eight team Junior World Trophy will be run at Under 20 level, replacing the existing Under 19 and Under 21 world championships.

IRB chairman, Syd Millar, says the format provides the opportunity for teams such as Fiji, Samoa and USA to regularly play teams they wouldn't normally meet.

The trophy is aimed to develop tier two and three Unions.

There'll be promotion and relegation between the world championship and world trophy tournaments that will provide annual competition for 24 unions.

Dr Millar says under 19 and under 21 rugby won't disappear with it to continue at a regional level.