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Published: 11:18 | 21/9/16

Tough U20 draw for Ireland

Ireland have been draw in the same group as New Zealand, Scotland and Italy for the 2017 World Rugby U20 Championship.

Ireland defeated New Zealand in the pool stages of the 2016 competition but eventually lost to England in the final and they will be hoping to go one better in Georgia next summer.

First up for the Boys in Green is a meeting with Italy on May 31 before facing Scotland on June 4 , with their final Pool B match against New Zealand scored for June 8. All three of Ireland's Pool games will take place in Kutaisi.

Defending champions England have been drawn in Pool A alongside Australia, Wales and Samoa, who were promoted to the U20 Championship after winning the World Rugby U20 Trophy in Zimbabwe earlier this year, while hosts Georgia will meet Argentina, South Africa and France in Pool C.

"The World Rugby U20 Championship is proving to be an enormously popular and important tournament and it plays a key developmental role in preparing the future stars of the game," World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said.

"Rugby is growing at an incredible rate in Georgia and interest is at an all-time high. I have no doubt that we'll see passionate and energetic crowds in Tbilisi and Kutaisi next year as all 12 teams put on a masterclass for fans.

"With preparations continuing for Rugby World Cup 2019, many of the players we see in Georgia could also feature on the greatest stage in Japan in just under three years' time."

The final takes place in Tbilisi's Mikheil Meskhi Stadium on June 18.

The U20 Championship will be broadcast live on eir Sport from 2017 through to 2019.

Setanta Sports is now eir Sport. We have 6 great channels of live sport including eir Sport 1 & 2 and all 4 BT Sport channels. The eir Sport pack is free to all eir broadband customers. To learn more about setting sport free visit www.eir.ie/sport .

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