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IRB restructure underage World Cup

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    IRB restructure underage World Cup

    <DIV =LeadPara>The International Rugby Board has, as widely predicted, restructured their age grade strategy by replacing the under-19 and under-21 World Cups with an annual under-20s competition. </DIV>
    <DIV =LeadPara>From 2008, a 16-team Junior World Championship and eight-team Junior World Trophy will run parallel, with promotion and relegation to exist between the two-tier system. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>"The restructure took into account the fact that, as a result of the player academy structures now in place around the world, many players at age 20 or 21 are already playing professional senior rugby for their club, province or state," said IRB chairman Syd Millar. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>There has also been a growing concern regarding the physical superiority of southern hemisphere nations at under-19 level. This viewpoint was expressed publicly by Irish under-19 coach Charlie McAleese during last month's IRB world championships in Belfast - a tournament won comfortably by New Zealand. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>"The (new) format provides the opportunity for teams such as Fiji, Samoa and USA to regularly play teams that they would not normally meet and allow the developing unions the opportunity to gauge their progress on an annual basis," added yesterday's IRB statement. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>The venue and dates for next year's World Championships have yet to be announced. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas></DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>ties in with Irl playing an u-20 team in the 6N this year.....</DIV>
    Seas suas agus troid!
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