World Rugby has confirmed that the 2021 edition of the U20 Championship will not take place this year due to the ongoing impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
It will be the second year in a row that the annual junior world championship will not take place after the coronavirus pandemic also caused its cancellation in 2020.
A host for this year’s tournament had yet to be selected, but World Rugby has decided to call the competition off, keeping player safety in mind.
‘The decision was made in consultation with potential hosts and participating unions considering all aspects from financial impact to player welfare implications,’ World Rugby said in a statement.
‘World Rugby is now working with regions and unions to identify regional competition opportunities in a safe environment, reflecting the international federation’s ambition to support meaningful high-performance competition pathways for the future stars of rugby.’
The decision will nevertheless come as a major blow to the young players who were hoping to represent their countries on the biggest stage in junior rugby.
SA Rugby was able to give a number of South African youngsters who were contracted to the franchises some action last year through the provincial U21 Championship. It has yet to be confirmed whether that tournament will still be taking place this year or whether it will still be held in a bio-bubble as in 2020.
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