The International Rugby Board and the Fédération Française de Rugby have announced the venues, pools and match schedule for the IRB Junior World Championship 2013 to take place in France between June 5-23.
The JWC is firmly established as one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the annual international Rugby calendar, showcasing the future stars of Rugby and the host nation in a competition that serves up a feast of excitement and highly competitive matches to a television audience in more than 160 nations.
The 2013 format will feature three venues with each hosting a pool. Stade Henri Desgrange in La Roche-sur-Yon will host Pool A matches. The Stade de la Rabine in Vannes will host Pool B, while Rugby World Cup 2007 host venue Stade Pascal Laporte in Nantes will host Pool C matches. The semi-finals and final will be played in Vannes.
The pools have been set on rankings based on results at the previous Championship and hosts France, courtesy of their sixth-place finish in 2012, will face defending champions South Africa, England and IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2012 winners USA in Pool A. JWC 2012 runners-up New Zealand, Ireland, Australia and Fiji are in Pool B, while Wales head Pool C which also includes Argentina, Scotland and Samoa.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "Today's announcement is an important milestone in the delivery of our showcase Under 20 event. The FFR has selected three superb venues in a region that will embrace the event, its players and fans. I have no doubt that France 2013 will be a resounding success that will continue the IRB Junior World Championship success story."
The 2012 Championship in South Africa set the benchmark for future hosts to follow with record attendance and broadcast figures, while 35,000 fans saw history being made as South Africa defeated New Zealand to become the first team other than the Baby Blacks to lift the coveted trophy in the five-year history of the event.
France 2013 aims to stamp its own mark on hosting the Championship with the venues set to showcase Rugby to the people of northern France, while an inspiration programme will aim to grow participation within the region.
Fédération Française de Rugby President Pierre Camou said: "The FFR is extremely pleased and proud to be hosting this prestigious international event. We have always been committed to the promotion of youth through our system and therefore this tournament holds a special importance for us. I am sure it will be a fantastic event."
Tournament Director Philippe Bourdarias added: "The IRB Junior World Championship is much more than the action on the pitch. It is about player education, participation and fan engagement and displaying the very best of the host nation. I believe that France 2013 will be a very special Championship for players and fans."
In a strong conversion, a total 11 players have graduated via the IRB Junior World Championship to play for the senior France XV. They are: Mathieu Bastareaud, Alexandre Lapandry, Benjamin Fall, Wencelas Lauret, Raphael Lakafia, Jean Marc Doussain, Yoann Maestri, Jean Marcelin Buttin, Yvan Watremez, Brice Dulin and Romain Taofifenua. Morgan Parra and Yann David have also played in a JWC, having won full test caps first.
The USA earned a place at the JWC after winning the 2nd Tier Junior World Rugby Trophy this past June.
Full schedule and pools document here