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Japan won the 2017 U-20 Trophy title defeating a plucky Portugal 14-3 in the rain. The annual contest was hosted by Uruguay, which clinched the bronze medal with a 34-12 win over Namibia.
For the Junior Brave Blossoms, the championship victory promotes them to the U-20 Junior World Championship next year, two years after being relegated to the Trophy event in 2016.
Japan must rank as the most improved nation in rugby for women and men in the past two-years. The Men’s XV went 3-1 in the World Cup 2015, including a startling upset of South Africa. The women’s team played in the recent World Cup in Ireland this past summer.
The next Men’s Rugby World Cup will take place in Japan, in 2019, the opening match is scheduled two-years away on September 20, 2019. It will mark the first rugby World Cup to be played in Asia.
Canada avoided a whitewash by defeating Hong Kong 38-0, ending the tournament in 7th (of 8 teams) place, a disappointing result. Chile upset Fiji 15-13 for sixth place.
Next year, the USA U-20 team must defeat Canada to qualify for the North America region’s place in the 2018 U-20 Trophy tournament.