JWRT 2023

January 05 2023

Canada U20 2019 - Webster, Isherwood, Ngawati

The U20 JWRT is Back in 2023: Kenya to Host, Canada Tour To Scotland in May, North American Qualifier in May/June

The JWRT, Junior World Rugby Trophy, tournament is back. The JWRT is the world U20 championship for Tier 2 nations. It was supposed to be held in Spain in 2020 but cancelled due to the pandemic, it was cancelled outright in 2021 and 2022 but is returning in 2023. The host nation will be Kenya according to Wiki, dates are unconfirmed but the last JWRT in Brazil (2019) was held in July.

Canada and USA will compete for the North American spot, Kenya as host country will attend, Scotland as the team relegated from the Tier 1 JWC (Junior World Championships) will attend. A draft Wiki article has Spain representing Europe, Samoa representing Oceania, Zimbabwe representing Africa, Uruguay and Chile competing for the South American spot and Hong Kong the likely Asia representative.

The Canada U20 men's program is under the direction of Pat Parfrey with Adam Roberts as the head coach. It looks like there will be a number of assistant coaches this year including former head coach Jeff Williams, university coaches Curry Hitchborn (UBC), Scott Manning (UVic), Cory Hector (Guelph), Pacific Pride coaches Phil Mack and Hubert Buydens and also Clay Panga assisting.

The team will have a camp, with approximately 46 players invited, in February (16-20) in Victoria, usually that means Shawnigan Lake school but the Rugby Canada centre in Langford is also a possibility. There's an intersquad match planned for Monday, the 20th. That's the Family Day weekend in BC.

The team has a tour planned to Scotland in May (4-14) for two matches, presumably against the Scotland U20 team. Scotland will be one of the favourites at the JWRT tournament as they were relegated from the 2019 JWC tournament, they lost 59-34 to Fiji in the 11th/12th match.

The two matches against USA are scheduled for May 30th and June 3rd, the locations in the USA are yet to be announced. The total points winner of those two matches will represent North America at the final tournament in Kenya. Canada will assemble in Abbotsford on May 20th to prepare for those matches.

Canada has had success against the USA in recent years, winning in 2017, 2018 and 2019 before the tournament went on hiatus in 2020. In 2022 Canada hosted a tournament against Zimbabwe, Uruguay and Chile where they came 3rd, ahead of Chile. The USA went to a tournament in the Netherlands where they defeated the hosts to win the title, also at the tournament were Belgium and Czech Republic.

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