Nassau, Bahamas (February 6, 2020) – Rugby Americas North, in partnership with Bahamas Rugby, is delighted to announce that Winton Rugby Center, Home of Rugby in the Bahamas, will host the 2020 Women’s 10s and Men’s Under 19 Tournament July 8 -12.

Entering its 18th year, the Men’s U-19 tournament is an important development tool for the region. For many young athletes it’s a first introduction to the international stage and the year’s only chance to compete against high caliber teams in a condensed tournament format.

In an effort to support player welfare throughout the tournament, pool matches on the first two days will consist of two 20-minute halves, with the final game on Sunday being 35-minute halves.

The Women’s 10s tournament is looking forward to its fifth year and remains an important development tool for the women’s game around the region as part of RAN’s strategy to encourage unions to establish 10s and fifteens domestic programs. The number of teams competing, and the caliber of play continues to increase, and this year we may see see the addition of teams from Sudamérica Rugby.

The Women’s 10s tournament will take place on July 9th and 11th with a rest day in the middle; The Men’s U-19 will compete over three game days on July 8th, 10th and the finals on the 12th.

The Winton Rugby Center is the home of Rugby in The Bahamas and games for all age groups are played there regularly from the first week of October through the following April. The facility has played host to the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens qualifiers in 2008, with 20 teams competing over 64 games on two fields.

Last year’s edition of the tournament took place at the Bellevue Plantation and Polo Club in Barbados, with 16 teams from across the region competing between the two formats.

In the women’s competition, Mexico and Jamaica met in the final with Las Serpientes lifting the Championship Trophy after a 22 – 0 victory.

USA South, who lost to Mexico in a thrilling semi-final, defeated Saint Lucia to capture the bronze medal. Playing in their first-ever tournament, the Dominican Republic finished in fifth and the hosts Barbados finished in seventh place.

On the men’s side, the finals day opened with the hosts Barbados taking on Curaçao in the 7th place playoff, with the home side picking up an impressive 30 – 0 victory. The 5th place final proved to be a thrilling encounter between Cayman Islands and Jamaica with both sides showcasing talent, pace and passion. Cayman Islands, however, emerged victorious 31 – 19.

Trinidad & Tobago won an exciting bronze medal final by two points after narrowly edging Bermuda 17 – 15.The gold medal final – which was a repeat of the previous five years – was between USA South and Mexico. In the end, Mexico used their staunch defence and pinpoint accuracy to outlast the Americans and lift their second consecutive trophy with a 30 – 20 victory.

Niall Brooks, Rugby Americas General Manager;

“After a long absence, RAN is delighted to be back in the Bahamas and at the Winton Rugby Centre. Winton is an ideal venue and regularly attracts a large number of spectators, who create a great atmosphere. We look forward to hopefully seeing more teams participate in both the Men’s U19s and Women’s 10s and build on the hugely successful 2019 tournament.”

Manoli Roussos, Chairman of the Bahamas Rugby Union:

“We are very excited to be hosting the Men’s Under-19 and Women’s 10s Tournament in July. As a union and island, we are pushing really hard with our rugby programs and trying to increase are playing numbers so to be able to host a competition of this magnitude is huge for the awareness and growth of rugby in the Bahamas. I would like to thank Rugby Americas North for considering and awarding us this tournament and we are already working with our partners to make sure we deliver a fantastic rugby tournament that also allows players and teams to experience the culture and feel of the Bahamas. I look forward to welcoming you to Bahamas”

Live stream information will be made available closer to the tournament, while live scoring, photos and video highlights will be provided on Rugby Americas North’s social media pages and website.