The National Under 20 Competition exists to provide young talented players within the Community Game, the opportunity to play representative rugby at CB level. Furthermore, it provides opportunities for dedicated and talented coaches and administrators to participate at representative level.
Competition Aims and Objectives
The overall objective of the Competition is to provide a meaningful Competition as part of the development of those players under 20 years of age. In particular, its aims are to:
- establish a competition, which will encourage each Constituent Body to work closely together with all its member Clubs to develop young players and their coaches and thus enable the performance of this partnership to be measured by success in the competition;
- support both Constituent Body and Club youth development programmes and, in particular, to focus on the further development of young Club players as well as their coaches emerging from the dual Schools/Youth U18 development programme;
- provide the opportunity for young Constituent Body Club players to test and measure their skills at a representative level above normal Club rugby.
For the 2013-14 season the Competition will be split into two parts – The Championship and The Shield. The Competition structure will consist of pool matches and the semi-finalists will no longer be decided by regional organisers. Matches will be scheduled for reserve weeks and be organised by the RFU Rugby and Events Department. This will ensure Constituent Bodies have the opportunity to enter a level of competition commensurate with their annual current talent pool; the essence is to provide meaningful competition and safeguard player welfare (E.g. those players in Constituent Bodies with a high proportion of NCA clubs should play fewer games at Constituent Body level due to the high number of high intensity games their players will be involved in at club level).
The Championship and The Shield will each be played in two stages, the Pool Stage and the Knock-Out Stage. The Knock-Out Stage in respect of The Championship and The Shield shall each comprise of four quarter-final matches, two semi-final matches and a final match. Quarter-final matches for The Shield will be played on 2nd February 2014 and for The Championship will be played on 30th March 2014. The semi-final matches for both The Shield and The Championship will be an open draw and will be played on 23rd February 2014 and 13th April 2014 respectively. The final matches of The Shield and The Championship will take place on the weekend of 16th March 2014 and 4th May 2014 respectively, as determined by the RFU Rugby Events and Competitions Department.