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France re-match drawn for New Zealand U20s in tough pool group

By Ben Smith
New Zealand lift the trophy after their victory during The Rugby Championship U20 Round 3 match between Australia and New Zealand at Sunshine Coast Stadium on May 12, 2024 in Sunshine Coast, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

The New Zealand U20s will get the opportunity to avenge last year’s defeat to France U20 when the World Championships kick off in July after being grouped in the same pool.


The Baby Blacks were met with a ferocious French pack last year featuring Poloso Tuilagi, son of Samoan international Henry, who scored two tries in a powerful showing.

France U20s won 35-14 with their power game proving to much to handle, and went on to claim their third consecutive World U20 title with a 50-14 victory.

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New Zealand will face Wales, France and Spain with the first match scheduled for June 30. They play France on July 5 and finish with Spain on July 10 before the finals series start on July 15.

Fresh from a title win in the inaugural Rugby Championship U20, New Zealand will head with form after drawing with South Africa 13-all in torrential conditions, a 43-20 win over Argentina and a title-winning 36-25 win over Australia.

Left winger Stanley Solomon starred throughout the Rugby Championship campaign, centre Xavi Taele was named player of the tournament, and No 8 Malachai Wrampling-Alec led a stellar pack.

The forwards for the New Zealand U20 possessed some real size and height with loosies Andrew Smith and Johnny Lee rounding out a tall back row.


Playmaker Rico Simpson impressed from first five with his passing game igniting the back line.


The tournament will use amended laws with six new variations trialled. A new red card sanction process will be implemented, with automatic bans for red cards involving foul play set at two weeks. Aggravated foul play will result in an automatic four-week ban.

Only serious infringements will face a judicial process and further review.


Watch the exclusive reveal-all episode of Walk the Talk with Ardie Savea as he chats to Jim Hamilton about the RWC 2023 experience, life in Japan, playing for the All Blacks and what the future holds. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV


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Andrew 25 days ago

The Black u20s didnt scrum that well at times. Even the Aussies had their number in that department despite getting hammered elsewhere. They will be underdogs v the french.

Jmann 25 days ago

Excellent that the new sensible and logical RC rules to be used. The sooner it becomes the norm throughout the game the better.

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Turlough 1 hours ago
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