16 Jan 2020

Sport: Fiji prepares for U20 World Rugby Championship in Italy

3:26 pm on 16 January 2020

Fiji Rugby is gearing up for the the Under 20 World Rugby Championship, which kicks off in Italy in late June.

An extended training squad of 49 members was announced this week to prepare for the country's bid to topple champions France.

Fiji's U20s are don't want the wooden spoon

Photo: Fiji Rugby

Fiji joins three-time champions England, 2012 winners South Africa and hosts Italy in Pool C while six-time champions New Zealand have been grouped with Australia, Wales and Georgia in Pool B.

Two-time defending champions France will play Argentina, Ireland and Japan in Pool A with the latter returning to the tournament after winning the World Rugby U20 Trophy last year.

The three pool winners and the best runner-up across the pools will progress to the semi-finals and a chance to be crowned 2020 champion.

The U20s is seen as a pathway to the Rugby World Cup stage, which World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said always displayed top-class talent.

"Every year the World Rugby U20 Championship showcases the most promising young rugby players and we see year after year graduates from the competition succeeding at the highest level," he said in a statement.

"Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan featured 228 players who initially represented their country in this tournament and I invite all rugby fans to follow matches closely for the next rugby stars of tomorrow."

Fiji under 20s extended squad

Forwards: Maciu Nasila, Tony Dyre, Beniata Nakove, Alivereti Vereivalu, Lincoln Fuata, Jacoro Waqanivau, Watson Cabeilomaiviti, Viliame Neirau, Seru Rogo, Seremaia Komailevuka, Philip Oliver, Lorima Nodrakurp, Viliame Senileba, Joseph Cavu, Apisalome Anaqali, Aporosa Danitiri, Vueti Tupou, Inoke Ranitu, Kitione Salawa, Donasio Vulivuli, Semi Tauyavuna, Nemani Tamani, Apisalome Navale, Philip Murray, Manoa Lura, Lesi Korovavala, Sakiusa Vosayaco.

Backs: Jonathan Sovasova, Jovilisi Taraka, Everoni Koribau, Isimeli Karacia Sireli Maqala, Eugene Rabuka, Mitchell Simpson, Beniamino Kalounidau, Akuila Cama, Petero Drugatoba, Samuela Marikiwai, Viliame Naveni, Mesake Iosefo, Isimeli Nabati, Josasa Bosoka, Kolonio Ravutu, Panapasa Cawaitakali, Jiuta Wainibuli, Jonetani Sauturaga, Rusiate Buresova, Saikusa Siqila.