Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
Article courtesy of IRB.com
The International Rugby Board and the Georgian Rugby Union have today announced the appointment of the Georgian Public Broadcaster as IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2011 Host Broadcaster.
It is the first time that the tournament has attracted a free-to-air Host Broadcaster and with eight matches scheduled to be broadcast live on Georgia’s biggest network channel the announcement represents a further boost to an event that is already capturing the imagination within a country where Rugby is the most popular sport.
Six pool matches, including all three of Georgia’s games will be broadcast live along with the third place play-off and the final on Sunday, June 5th in Tbilisi.
The IRB will also deliver a live streaming service of the eight matches plus four additional matches produced by the Host Broadcaster via the official tournament website http://www.irb.com/jwrt.
“The IRB is delighted that the Georgian Public Broadcaster is committed to showcasing the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy around the world via an unprecedented broadcast platform. This exciting deal underlines the growth in international profile of the tournament and the clear passion for Rugby in Georgia, which has seen it become the number one sport,” said IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset.
“The combination of a strong broadcast platform and an attractive ticketing policy will further enhance Rugby’s growth and development in Georgia. This a wonderful opportunity for the Georgian Rugby Union to showcase the sport and the continued investment in the Game which includes two new High Performance Centres in Tbilisi and the installation of a revolutionary artificial pitch funded by the IRB to ensure training facilities are available all year round.”
The Georgian Rugby Union has also announced that there will be free admission to all matches at the Shevardeni Stadium and matches at the Avchala Stadium will be priced from 5-10 Georgia Lari.
The eight-team tournament kicks off on Tuesday, May 24. Samoa, Russia, Uruguay and USA will compete in Pool A while Japan, hosts Georgia, Canada and Zimbabwe are in Pool B.
In addition to providing a significant boost to Rugby in the Host Union, the Under 20 tournament plays a vital player development role for all the participating Unions. Seven of the eight Unions are currently included in the IRB’s Strategic Investment programme and there will be fierce competition between the teams to win the title and with it promotion to the IRB Junior World Championship 2012.
The IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy prepares players and match officials for the full Test arena in a competitive tournament environment and more than 50 players have already graduated to win senior international selection.