The Six Nations Under-18 Festivals return in April, offering a key step on the development pathway for women’s and men’s rugby players and teams from each of the Six Nations unions and federations.
Returning for a second year, the 2023 Six Nations Under-18 Women’s Festival will this year be held at Wellington College, England, starting on April 7th and running until April 15th including three match days. To promote an appropriate and competitive playing environment, teams will each play four 35-minute fixtures across the first two match days followed by one full 70-minute fixture on the final match day. This format allows each team to play one another, every player to start at least one fixture and each Union to benchmark the progress of their female athletes across the competitive spectrum.
The commitment from Six Nations Rugby to support the development of women’s rugby includes the next generation of coaches and match officials. As part of the Under-18 Women’s Festival week, there will be a two-day coaching conference, with match officials and coaches in attendance from all six unions and federations, which will also see match officials from the six Unions officiating at the festival. A programme of development opportunities will be available during the men’s Under-18 festivals, for coaches, analysts and match officials, to nurture the growth of this area of the game.
The Six Nations Under-18 Men’s Festival, running from the 8th – 16th April will feature three matchdays hosted at Energia Park, Dublin. Teams will play three standalone 70-minute fixtures, with every player looking to start at least one game with rolling substitutions throughout to ensure the best development opportunity for the athletes across the Festival.
Every game will be live streamed across both festivals, and fans will be able to follow all the action across our Six Nations Rugby channels, offering commentary in English, French and Italian. Spectators will also be able to attend the matchdays at both Wellington College and Energia Park.
Commenting on the Six Nations Under-18 Women’s and Men’s Festivals, Julie Paterson, Director of Rugby at Six Nations Rugby:
“The Six Nations Under-18 Festivals are a vital development platform for our athletes. For the players and coaches, and the valuable support staff, these festivals offer a real opportunity to gain valuable match day experience at international level whilst also engaging and challenging them through various professional development opportunities during the festival week . It is also a fantastic opportunity for the next generation of match officials to learn and share knowledge with members from the other unions.
The Under-18 Festivals are testament to the commitment from Six Nations Rugby to deliver an accelerated development pathway and inspire future players, coaches and match officials to be the best they can be, and to provide every opportunity to follow in the footsteps of those performing at the elite level of the game.”