The Junior Springboks have been drawn to face hosts France in Pool C of the 2018 World Rugby U20 Championship, which will be played across three cities in the south of France from Wednesday, 30 May to Sunday, 17 June.
The two other teams in the Junior Boks’ pool are Ireland and Georgia.
Defending champions, New Zealand, have been drawn in Pool A with Australia, Wales and Japan, while 2017 runners up, England, will take on Scotland, Italy and Argentina in Pool B.
The pool stages of the tournament will be hosted at the Stade Aimé Giral in Perpignan, Stade de la Méditerranée in Béziers and the Stade d’Honneur du Parc des Sports et de l’Amitié in Narbonne, with the venue for the semi-finals and final set to be announced in due course.
The Junior Springboks met France twice in this year’s tournament in Tbilisi, Georgia, where they drew 23-23 in their opening pool match, while they defeated the French 37-15 in the third-place playoff to win the bronze medal.
The SA U20s also defeated France in the 2016 and 2015 tournaments, while they overcame a strong challenge from Georgia in Tbilisi in June this year to secure a 38-14 victory in their second pool match.
The last time the Junior Springboks met Ireland in the tournament, however, was in 2012 where the South Africans went down 23-19 at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch, but they recovered well to win the tournament.
“The World Rugby U20 Championship is a proven finishing school for aspiring international players, with some of the biggest names in the game having graduated amongst a group of more than 550 internationals, including double World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year Beauden Barrett,” said World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont.
“Following the success of Georgia, which broke all social media records, we are delighted to be heading to France and the rugby cities of Narbonne, Béziers and Perpignan. I am sure that the championship will capture the imagination and it will be fascinating to see who graduates to Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.”