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The USA U20 team (1-1) beat Hong Kong 32-12 on Saturday to set up a showdown with undefeated Spain (2-0) in Pool B of the World Rugby U20 Trophy Championship in Harare, Zimbabwe. The winner of this two pool, eight-team event will advance to the upper bracket U20 Junior World Championship in 2017 to be held in Georgia.
Pool A - Zimbabwe, Fiji, Uruguay, Samoa
Pool B - USA, Spain, Hong Kong, Namibia
Historically, in the eight past tournaments, the Junior World Championship has hosted the major rugby playing nations in a similar pattern to the quadrennial Rugby World Cup. New Zealand have won five times, England twice, and South Africa once. Originally, a sixteen team event became twelve teams, with the nation that finishes the tournament on the bottom relegated to the U20 Trophy event. The USA have participated in two of the eight premiere tournaments, finishing last on both occasions.
The upcoming 2016 Junior World Championship will be in England, which will welcome Georgia for the first time, the winner of last year’s Trophy division and promoted. In that contest in 2015, the final placements from one to four were Georgia, Canada, Uruguay, and Tonga.
The annual Junior World Championship showcases up and coming talent, none more prominent than the Springboks current fly-half Handré Pollard, who was named Junior Player of the year in 2014, when South Africa won the U20 event for the first time. Pollard was promoted to the national team after that victory.
USA vs Spain, Wednesday, April 27.