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Cardiff Arms Park to host 2021 Under 20 Six Nations Championship

Pathway | 18th May 2021

Cardiff Arms Park will be the home of the 2021 Under 20 Six Nations Championship this summer.

Due to the impact of the pandemic, it has been confirmed that the Championship will be held in one venue this year, with the iconic stadium set to host all six countries over five rounds of action.

The decision was made with the aim of reducing the risk around travel, to ensure greater rest periods and structured training and therefore meet many of the performance opportunities lost in recent times.

With the competition being held from June 19 until July 13, competitive international rugby at this level will return to the home of Cardiff Blues for the first time since 2010, when the likes of Dan Fish, Josh Navidi, Taulupe Faletau and Gareth Davies were part of Wales' Six Nations squad.

This year's Championship takes place at a later time of the year, with the annual World Championship not taking place due to the effects of Covid. Matchday squads will consist of 26 players due to the condensed format of the competition and all five matchdays will feature three matches played consecutively.

Every match will be broadcasted on S4C and BBC Wales' television or online channels.

Commenting on the announcement, Six Nations CEO, Ben Morel said: “We are delighted to be in a position to play the Under-20s Championship this year, having had to cancel it in 2020 due to the pandemic.

“The Under-20s Six Nations Championship is an important milestone in the life of many young players who will pursue a career in professional rugby and we would like to thank the unions for their hard work in making this Championship possible and our broadcasters for bringing it to the homes of rugby lovers.
We are looking forward to some exciting rugby.”

WRU CEO Steve Phillips, added: “The Welsh Rugby Union is honoured to be hosting the 2021 Under 20s Six Nations Championship at the historic Cardiff Arms Park.

“The Under 20s Six Nations Championship is a crucial pathway for the players’ development as they begin their journey into senior professional rugby. A number of players currently playing for their respective unions at the highest level have come through this programme, so it will be exciting to see the next generation of stars in action here with us in Cardiff.”

The WRU’s head coach of transitional players, Gareth Williams added: ‘It’s great news that this cohort of players get an opportunity to compete at this important stage of their development.

“We’re all aware of the challenges the last year or so has thrown at our game, but this is something to look forward to and prepare for and provides our players a clear focus which they are eager to embrace.”

There was no winner of the 2020 Under-20s Championship. 2019 Champions Ireland had already secured a Triple Crown thanks to wins over Scotland, Wales and England and were vying for a repeat Grand Slam. Every other team had secured at least one win before the 2020 Championship had to be called to a halt due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A number of Cardiff Blues players featured in the 2020 Championship campaign, including Theo Bevacqua, Mason Grady, Gwilym Bradley, Jacob Beetham and Luke Scully, while scrum half Ellis Bevan would later sign for the capital city club.

Round 1 - June 19

Scotland v Ireland (KO 14.00)

England v France (KO 17.00)

Italy v Wales (KO 20.00)

Round 2 - June 25

England v Scotland (KO 14.00)

Italy v France (KO 17.00)

Wales v Ireland (KO 20.00)

Round 3 - July 1

Scotland v Italy (KO 14.00)

France v Wales (KO 17.00)

Ireland v England (KO 20.00)

Round 4 - July 7

Italy v Ireland (KO 14.00)

France v Scotland (KO 17.00)

Wales v England (KO 20.00)

Round 5 - July 13

England v Italy (KO 14.00)

Ireland v France (KO 16.45)

Scotland v Wales (KO 20.00)