European Under-18 Rugby Union Championship

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European Under-18 Rugby Union Championship
Current season or competition:
2014 European Under-18 Rugby Union Championship
Sport Rugby union
Instituted 2004
Number of teams 31 (2013)
Country Europe (FIRA-AER)
Holders  France (2015)

The European Under-18 Rugby Union Championship is an annual rugby union championship for Under-18 national teams, held since 2004. The championship is organised by rugby's European governing body, the FIRA – Association of European Rugby (FIRA-AER).[1]

It has been held alternatingly in France and Italy, except for 2012 when it was held in Spain. The past editions were won by France, who won the championship in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, and England, which won it in 2005, 2006 and 2012.[2] Ireland became the third nation to win the tournament when they beat England in the 2011 final.


The European Under-18 Rugby Union Championship was first held in 2004, in Treviso, Italy. It replaced the previously held European Under-18 Emergent Nations Championship, which had first been held in 2000.[3] The first championship in 2004 was won by France.[2]

The following two championships, held in Lille, France in 2005 and again in Treviso in 2006, were won by England. Alternating between France and Italy, the next four championships were held in Biarritz, Treviso again, Toulon and once more in Treviso in 2010. All four were won by France, but of Europe's top rugby playing nations, England, Wales and Scotland did not take part in the latest edition.[2]

The 2011 edition of the competition saw the introduction of an elite division, above division one, the former A, made up of four teams, France, England, Wales and Ireland. The divisions below remained unchanged. It marked the first time that all countries participating in the six nations send a team to the European championship. The 2011 tournament was held in the regions of Armagnac and Bigorre, in southern France.[4] It was won by Ireland and saw the French team not reaching the final for the first time.


In 2010, the championship, similar to previous editions, was organised in an A, B and C Division, with A being the highest and C the lowest. Each division consisted of eight teams and each team played three competition games, with a quarter final, semi final and final/placing game.[5] The D division, unlike in the past, was held in a separate tournament in 2010.

The quarter finals were played according to a seeding list, with the winners moving on to the first to fourth place semi finals while the losers would enter the fifth to eighth place semi finals.[5]

The winners of the semi finals one to four would play in the division final while the losers would play for third place. Similarly, the winners of the fifth to eighth semi finals would play for fifth place while the losers would play for seventh.[5]

The winner of the A division was crowned European champions while the eighth placed team would be relegated to the B division. Similarly, the winner of B and C division would move up a division for 2011 while the last placed teams would be relegated. This meant, France was crowned European champions while Romania finished on the relegation spot. Portugal won the B division and earned promotion while the Ukraine was relegated and replaced by Sweden, the C champions.[5]

The 2011 format saw the introduction of a four-team elite division. Below this level, the divisions remained unchanged but were now numbered instead of being ordered by letters.[4]

In 2012 the modus was changed once more. The elite division now consisted of eight teams, as did the A and B divisions, with all three played at the same time and location while the C division consisted of four and the D division of three teams and were played separately.[6]

Championship finals

The past finals were:[2]

Emergent nations championship

Year Host Final Third place match
Winner Score Runner-up 3rd place Score 4th place
2000 Bulgaria Sofia  Belgium
2001 Croatia Split  Netherlands
2002 Czech Republic Prague  Belgium
2003 Netherlands Amsterdam  Poland

European championship

Year Host Final Third place match
Winner Score Runner-up 3rd place Score 4th place
2004 Italy Treviso  France
2005 [7] France Lille  England 16–9  France  Scotland 10–6  Italy
2006 [8] Italy Treviso  England 15–7  France  Italy 29–3  Scotland
2007 [9] France Dax  France 8–8 1  Ireland  England 52–9  Italy
2008 [10] Italy Treviso  France 12–5  Ireland  England 21–5  Italy
2009 [11] France Toulon  France 20–19  England  Ireland 51–10  Romania
2010 [12] Italy Treviso  France 27–3  Ireland  Georgia 18–15  Belgium
2011 [13] France Tarbes  Ireland 17–8  England  Wales 15–6  France
2012 [6] Spain Madrid  England 25–13  Ireland  France 10–7  Wales
2013 [14] France Grenoble  England 27–22  France  Ireland 40–0  Scotland
2014 [15] Poland Wronki  England 30–14  Ireland  Wales 31–30  France
2015 [16] France Toulouse  France 57–0  Georgia  England 39–12  Italy
  • 1 France won 4-3 on penalty kicks.

Divisional champions

The divisional champions from 2004 to 2010:

Year A B C D
2004  France  Croatia
2005  England  Portugal  Latvia  Hungary
2006  England  Romania  Netherlands  Austria
2007  France  Spain  Lithuania  Bulgaria
2008  France  Belgium   Switzerland  Serbia
2009  France  Germany  Czech Republic  Luxembourg
2010  France  Portugal  Sweden  Moldova

The divisional champions after the reorganisation in 2011:

Year Elite A B C D
2011  Ireland  Scotland  Spain  Serbia  Croatia
2012  England  Belgium  Poland  Croatia  Austria
2013  England  Spain  Netherlands  Austria  Denmark
2014  England  Russia  Sweden  Latvia  Moldova
2015  France  Russia  Ukraine  Denmark  Andorra

Elite Division 2011

The games of the elite division:[17]

Semi-finals Final
1  France 17
4  Ireland 19
4  Ireland 17
2  England 8
2  England 38
3  Wales 34
3rd Place Final
1  France 6
3  Wales 15