Friday 3 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Enrique Oscar Galletto
# royal bleus
France secure back-to-back U20 World Cups after tight tussle with Wallabies
Louis Carbonel held his nerve to settle an exciting final.

A YEAR ON from their World Rugby U20 Championship victory on home soil, France made it a double deep in Argentina.

Les Bleus had to hold their nerve against a quality Australia side, overcoming the Junior Wallabies by the tightest of margins to win 24-23 thanks to Louis Carbonel’s 65th-minute penalty.

Australia lose out despite getting off to the best possible start as Mark Nawaqanitawase scorched away over the try-line with just 49 seconds gone after Isaac Lucas’ break. 

It was to prove a topsy-turvy final as France hit back and took the lead through an incisive converted Theo Lachaud try, before the Green and Gold boys were celebrating again thanks to dynamic hooker Lachlan Lonergan.

Les Bleus held the half-time lead, 18-13, thanks to Alex Burin’s score, but the Junior Wallabies were back in front by the 48th minute with Harry Wilson claiming their third try of the final.

final6 Enrique Oscar Galletto Enrique Oscar Galletto

That was all the tries the game had to offer, but there was plenty of nerve-shredding drama left as the sides traded penalties and the lead again before Carbonel nudged France back in front one final time on 65 minutes.

At the other end of the tournament, Fiji defeated Scotland 59-34 in the relegation play-off.

The loss leaves Scotland as the first Tier 1 nation since 2012 to suffer relegation, a fate Ireland narrowly avoided last year, and they will play in the U20 Trophy in 2020. 

World Rugby U20 Championship 2019, final standings

1. France

2. Australia

3. South Africa

4. Argentina

5. England

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6. Wales

7. New Zealand

8. Ireland

9. Italy

10. Georgia

11. Fiji

12. Scotland

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