Hong Kong to host IRB junior tournament in 2014
Hong Kong will host the stars of tomorrow at the IRB Junior World Trophy in 2014.
The International Rugby Board has awarded the tournament to Asia for the first time with Hong Kong, which enjoys a strong reputation as an international rugby destination, getting a further boost.
Hong Kong Rugby Football Union chairman Trevor Gregory said: 'By completing the competitive tender process and with two full years to prepare, we are confident we can put on a wonderful festival of rugby in a country where the fans are passionate and knowledgeable and turn out in force to see high-class matches.
'We look forward to welcoming the stars of tomorrow and promise them world-class facilities and an unforgettable experience.'
The annual tournament for under-20 players will be a qualifying event for the Junior World Championship. This year's Junior World Trophy in Salt Lake City in the United States ended with the hosts defeating Japan in the final and qualifying for the 2013 world championship.
The 2013 Junior World Trophy will be played in Chile.
'There will be eight teams taking part in our event, which is the usual number,' Gregory (pictured) said. 'Hong Kong as hosts qualify automatically and will be joined by six other regional qualifiers as well as the team who finish last at the 2013 Junior World Championship.'
Hong Kong will also bid to represent Asia at next year's Junior World Trophy. But to do that they will have to win the Asian Rugby Football Union Under-19 Championship later this month in Hong Kong.
The 2014 Junior World Trophy is another feather in the cap of local rugby, which has hosted the Hong Kong Sevens and Asian Five Nations Top Five. Next June, the British and Irish Lions will stop over on their way to Australia for a historic offshore game against the Barbarians.