Noel McNamara's Grand Slam-chasing Ireland Under-20s have been housed in a daunting World Championship pool, which see them kick off the tournament against England.

Ireland finished ninth in France last year and as a consequence slipped down in the seedings. They were drawn in Pool B alongside the English, Australia and Italy.

They'll face England - who they beat 35-27 in the Six Nations four weeks ago - on Tuesday 4 June, before taking on Australia on Saturday 8 June and the Italians on Wednesday 12 June.

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Ireland may have had a disappointing 2018 but they're flying this year. Three wins from three has them right in the mix for the Six Nations Championship, and maybe even a Slam. They next face France on Friday, 8 March before a climactic trip to Wales.

The most recent Under-20 graduates to be capped by Joe Schmidt were Ross Byrne and Sam Arnold in November and Jack Carty just last Saturday against Italy.

Byrne’s younger brother Harry, who has averaged 12 points per game in the current Six Nations campaign, is on course to play in his second World Championship this summer.

"The Under-20 Championship has proven itself to be a very important competition for the uncovering and development of the future stars of our game and attracting new, young fans to the sport," said World Rugby vice-chairman Agustín Pichot said.

"With Rugby World Cup 2019 on the horizon these young players will have no shortage of inspiration to take the next step towards fulfilling their rugby dreams.

"The 2018 edition of the Under-20 Championship in France was an outstanding success and it is a great honour for Argentina to take the pass and host this prestigious competition."


POOL A France, Argentina, Wales, Fiji

POOL B England, Australia, Italy, IRELAND

POOL C South Africa, New Zealand, Georgia, Scotland

Ireland fixtures:

Tuesday, 4 June - England v IRELAND, CRAI, Santa Fe, 3.30pm local time/7.30pm Irish time

Saturday, 8 June - Australia v IRELAND, CRAI, Santa Fe, 10.30am local time/2.30pm Irish time

Wednesday, June 12 - Italy v IRELAND, CRAI, Santa Fe, 10.30am local time/2.30pm Irish time

The semi-finals take place on Monday, 17 June, with the final and play-offs down for decision on Saturday, 22 June.