Six Nations double-header coming to Ricoh Arena for first time next year
The Six Nations Under 20s Championship is arriving at the home of Wasps Rugby Club on Friday, March 16 when Grand Slam champions England round off their campaign against Ireland (kick-off 8pm).
England’s women will also take to the field to take on Ireland women beforehand.
It’s the second time in as many years that the venue will have hosted a major rugby tournament, having hosted the Rugby League Four Nations back in November 2016.
Nick Eastwood, chief executive at the Ricoh Arena, said: “The Ricoh Arena has proven its ability to stage elite sporting events, particularly rugby, so we are thrilled to have been chosen to host a tournament showcasing some of the country’s best young male and female players. As it's the final round, there is also the exciting possibility that a trophy presentation could take place.
“Women’s rugby is also going from strength-to-strength, helped by England’s recent journey to the World Cup final. We're pleased that sports fans in the local area will have the opportunity to watch the international women's and men's teams in action at the Ricoh Arena during this double-header.
“The Six Nations tournament doesn’t just spell good news for the Ricoh Arena, it is also a major boost for Coventry’s City of Rugby project too, which is aiming to make the city a world leader at every level of the sport by 2023.
“We’re hopeful that having the next generation of Elliot Dalys and Sarah Hunters performing on our doorstep will capture the imagination of parents and children alike, and inspire even more youngsters across the region to take up the sport.”
Prior to England’s arrival at the Ricoh Arena, they will take in fixtures against Italy at the Stadio Enzo Bearzot on Feburary 3, before facing Wales at Kingston Park on February 9. England will then travel to Myreside to play Scotland on February 23, before facing France at the Stade de la Mediterranee on March 9.
The England U20 programme will be led by Rugby Football Union performance manager Steve Bates with three coaches to be announced for the season ahead which includes the World Rugby U20 Championship in May.
Steve Bates added: “We have some exciting players and a track record of producing full internationals so this is a great opportunity for fans to come out and see the future stars of England rugby.
“The Ricoh Arena will be a great environment for the players to put on a show and that will be one of the features of this tournament for us. We need to go out and play with high intensity and get the game moving and are concentrating on those factors.”
The wider England squad, which will be announced at the start of 2018, will come together for a training camp at the beginning of January before starting the defence of their Six Nations title in February.
Tickets for the Six Nations double header at the Ricoh Arena can be found here.