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Live blog: World Rugby U20 Championship 2024 in Cape Town – Day One

By Liam Heagney
Junior Boks' Michail Damon attempts to give Fiji's Avakuki Niusalelekitoga the slip (Photo by Shaun Roy/World Rugby)

It was 15 weeks ago, when the age-grade Six Nations finished in a welter of excitement in Cork and Pau that the appetite was well and truly whetted for the 2024 World Rugby U20 Championship.

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Ireland finished their campaign unbeaten but that wasn’t enough to deny England the title as a swashbuckling victory away to France came with the four try bonus point crowned them as champions.

The anticipation was then further heightened with the inaugural staging of the first age-grade Rugby Championship, New Zealand stealing a march on their southern hemisphere rivals to clinch the title seven weeks ago on the Australian Gold Coast.

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HITS, BUMPS AND HANDOFFS! | The biggest collisions from the U20s World Championships

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HITS, BUMPS AND HANDOFFS! | The biggest collisions from the U20s World Championships

Five of the Six Nations countries and all four Rugby Championship participants are now in South Africa along with Georgia, Spain and Fiji and the six-match round one programme will see a feast of rugby.

The schedule at the iconic DHL Stadium is defending champions France versus Spain at 2pm local time followed by Ireland versus Italy (4.30pm) and hosts South Africa against Fiji (7pm).

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Out the road in the Cape Flats, the three-match programme begins with England versus Argentina (2pm) with Australia-Georgia (4.30pm) and Wales-New Zealand (7pm).

The day will begin for RugbyPass with the cross-hemisphere England-Argentina game in Athlone before we head into the Mother City for the Ireland-Italy and South Africa-Fiji fixtures.

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Rugby fans around the world can watch the action live for free on RugbyPass TV in countries that don’t have an exclusive host country broadcaster. Click here to sign up to stream the games and keep an eye below for exclusive interviews, behind the scenes footage and all the other opening day developments on the RugbyPass live blog:

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Tom 1 hours ago
All Blacks snatch another tight victory from England at Eden Park

First up to any of the ABs fans who accused us of “bluster” pre-series for saying it would be a competitive - I'm glad it turned out to be an excellent series to which the ABs were deserving winners and I hope next time a side tours you'll be a little more humble. I loved the heart shown by the English boys and how they managed to contain the AB attack for large parts of the series. Was very disappointed by the lack of cohesion and ambition ball in hand, we looked after the ball poorly and hardly went 2 phases without kicking it away. We're not giving ourselves enough opportunity to put phases together and build pressure. The ambition shown in the 6N against Ireland and France seems to have gone and our players look very hesitant with ball in hand, we look much better when Marcus is taking the ball flat and boys are running hard at the line. So frustrating when we're starting to build pressure in the 22 we go back to the grubber kick then find ourselves back on the half way line 10 seconds later. We've shown great success with our box kicking game but we need to leave the flipping grubber kick in the locker room. Like the Marcus Smith hail Mary miss pass that went straight to Mark Telea, we seem to have no patience. Sometimes we just need to recycle the ball and go again. Loving seeing Maro back to his best and Fin Baxter really impressed, Alex Mitchell looks to be one of the most complete 9s in world rugby, great around the base and impeccable kicking. Congrats to the ABs, far more dangerous and skillful than England. We contained you for large swathes but to shut down that amount of pace and skill for 80 mins is nigh on impossible. Managed to find a way to win and instinctively grabbed the rare opportunities which came your way. Finding ways to win in two tight test matches will I'm sure be a great experience for your younger players. Beauden needs to be in the starting 15, what a worldie.

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