Opinion Piece: Under 20 Stars Who Could Make a Mark at RWC2019



With the 2018 IRB Under 20 Championship now done and dusted, our rugby scribe takes a look at the tournament's star performers who could go on to make their respective countries Rugby World Cup squads.

The 2018 IRB Under 20 Championship ended this past Sunday and boy were we treated to some quality rugby as the world's finest youngsters tore up French rugby fields for over a month. Some of these young guns really stood out. So much so that they could actually end up making their national teams' World Cup squads. Below, we'll take a look at which of these young guns is in with a shout of travelling to Japan next year.


Siosaia Fifita - Japan
The Japanese utility back may have only finished the tournament with three tries to his name but he really did catch the eye with his power running. Capable of playing in the centres as well as on the wing, the 110-kilogram young gun would be a great addition to a Japanese squad that could use a bit more weight in the backline.

Check out his try versus Ireland.

Giovanni D'Onofrio - Italy
The Italian winger ended the tournament as joint top try scorer along with South Africa's Wandile Simalane. Blessed with devastating pace as well as a pair of extremely happy feet, the Italian young gun could well be a World Cup belter.

He's also not bad under the high ball as this clip illustrates.

Marcus Smith - England
The English pivot didn't have as productive a tournament as many expected but he still showed glimpses of magic. He finds himself in an interesting position having already been called up to the senior side's wider training camps. With George Ford struggling for form and Danny Cipriani extremely injury prone, the Harlequins young gun may well find himself on a plane to Japan.

Check out his try versus Italy here

Demba Bamba - France
The French senior side is not short of ball carrying props but Demba Bamba could still sneak his way into World cup contention. The young man is an absolute beast with ball-in-hand and gets through a massive amount of work but he doesn't shirk his core duties and is a solid scrummager. He was a key cog in France's run to the title and could play a role for the senior side in Japan.

Here are a few of his barnstorming carries against New Zealand

Gela Aprasidze - Georgia
The Georgian youngster is the most likely of the bunch to turn out for his national side at next year's World Cup. The diminutive half-back is an excellent goal kicker. He's also a brilliant box kicker and marshalls his pack extremely well. He's not afraid to snipe around the fringe either with his blistering acceleration often seeing him beat the pillar defence.

Check out his incredible solo try from the 2017 Under 20 Championship

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets.

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