Tough pool for NZ at U-20 World Championship
Hosts New Zealand have drawn a tough pool at next year's under-20 rugby world championship with South Africa, Scotland and Samoa their opponents.
The tournament draw was made in Auckland today.
The seventh edition of the tournament sees matches played at North Harbour Stadium and Pukekohe Stadium during the pool stages and semifinals with Eden Park set to host the final on June 20.
New Zealand's battle with the Baby Boks in pool play is a repeat of the 2012 final, which South Africa won 22-16 in Cape Town.
Taking on Samoa in Auckland with the city's large Samoan community will also be a challenge.
Defending champions England have Australia, Argentina, and Italy in Pool A, while Wales, France, Ireland and Fiji make up Pool B.
More than 260 players have graduated from the junior world championship to the test arena, including 17 who played their part in the All Blacks' perfect year with 14 victories from 14 in 2013.
Tickets have been priced as low as $5 for children and a special package sees a family of four able to attend all three pool matches at one venue on each match day from as little as $30. Tickets go on sale next year.
"We really want fans to make the most of this opportunity to see such great young players from around the world up close so we have tried to keep ticket prices as low as possible," said New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew, determined to see the tournament a success after the hosting of the senior World Cup in 2011.
"We are incredibly proud to once again play host to the rugby world. This is the biggest fifteens tournament in the world outside Rugby World Cup and to be given the chance to stage such an important rugby event for the first time is a great honour.
"Two years ago we delivered a very successful Rugby World Cup. I am confident we can once again stage a very special event that will make our country proud while also providing an excellent platform for the best young players in world rugby to perform to their potential."