The next big names in Super Rugby will go head-to-head across an action-packed week of rugby at the 2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa Under 20 tournament this April.
The newly formed tournament will see Under 20 sides from the Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders, Highlanders along with a New Zealand Barbarians Club Under 20 team take part in three match days at Taupō’s Owen Delany Park. All matches will be broadcast live on Sky on 11 April, 14 April and 17 April.
Former Blues and Stormers Coach Paul Feeney will head the New Zealand Barbarian Club Under 20 coaching team, with players set to be selected from across the 26 Provincial Unions.
The New Zealand Under 20 programme also gets a boost with the announcement of Tabai Matson as Head Coach. The former Crusaders and Chiefs Assistant Coach will be joined by Tom Donnelly and Cory Jane in the coaching team.
New Zealand Rugby High Performance Player Development Manager Matt Sexton said rejuvenating the Under 20 programme was pleasing after the covid-19 enforced hiatus in 2020.
“The Super Rugby Aotearoa Under 20 tournament will give our emerging players a high level of game experience and give our talent identification network an effective platform to confirm players for the New Zealand Under 20 programme.
“Securing the calibre of coaches that we have is crucial in the Under 20s environment. Tabai’s experience is first class and along with Tom and Cory; they have a really important role assisting the development of these young players,” said Sexton.
A playing programme for the New Zealand Under 20 will be confirmed in coming months, with the hope that a Trans-Tasman bubble will enable an Oceania Tournament later this year.
The Jock Hobbs Memorial National Under 19 tournament will not take place in 2021, with provincial unions instead delivering regional Under 19 programmes.
Super Rugby Aotearoa Under 20 Draw
Sunday 11 April
11.30am Hurricanes v Chiefs
1.30pm Barbarians v Highlanders
3.30pm Crusaders v Blues
Wednesday 14 April
11.30am Barbarians v Blues
1.30pm Hurricanes v Highlanders
3.30pm Crusaders v Chiefs
Saturday 17 April
11am Crusaders v Highlanders
1pm Barbarians v Chiefs
3pm Hurricanes v Blues