The World Rugby U20 Championship 2016 will take place in Manchester, England from 7-25 June and involve 12 teams: defending champions New Zealand, hosts England, Argentina, Australia, France, debutants Georgia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Scotland, South Africa and Wales.
Previously known as the Junior World Championship, this under-20 tournament was introduced in 2008 after the amalgamation of the previous under-19 and under-21 World Championships to create a two-tier tournament with the winner of the Junior World Rugby Trophy promoted to the Championship the following year in place of the side finishing bottom of the standings.
Wales, Japan, Argentina, Italy, South Africa, France and New Zealand have hosted previous editions of this tournament but only three nations have lifted the coveted trophy in New Zealand (2008-11 and 2015), South Africa (2012) and England (2013-14).
The tournament continues to provide a pathway for future stars of world rugby to progress to the test arena with more than 370 having made the step up by the beginning of 2016. These players include RWC 2015 winners Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Sam Cane, Julian Savea and Aaron Smith of New Zealand, Wales captain Sam Warburton, Argentina fly-half Nicolas Sanchez, Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray and South Africa's Junior Player of the Year 2014 Handré Pollard.
After the third round of matches at the U20 Championship, the semi-finalists will be the top three pool winners plus the fourth placed team, which is the one with the most competition points.
At the conclusion of the pool phase, the teams in a pool are ranked one through four based on their cumulative match points, and identified respectively as winner, runner up, third and fourth.
If, at the completion of the pool phase, two or more teams are level on match points, then the following criteria shall be used in the following order until one of the teams can be determined as the higher ranked:
(i) the winner of the match in which the two tied teams have played each other shall be the higher ranked;
(ii) the team which has the best difference between points scored for and points scored against in all its pool matches shall be the higher ranked;
(iii) the team which has the best difference between tries scored for and tries scored against in all its pool matches shall be the higher ranked;
(iv) the team which has scored most points in all its pool matches shall be the higher ranked;
(v) the team which has scored most tries in all its pool matches shall be the higher ranked; and
(vi) if none of the above produce a result, then it will be resolved with a toss of a coin