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Last Updated: Friday, 1 December 2006, 12:03 GMT
Irish open up against Australia
U19 World Cup will be hosted in Belfast
Ireland will open their IRB U19 World Cup campaign against champions and top seeds Australia at Ravenhill (5 April).

The Irish, who are hosting the event exclusively in Belfast, play Scotland on 9 April then South Africa four days later with both games at Ravenhill.

The 24 teams will play across six match venues in the city with the Division A matches to be staged at Deramore and Shaw's Bridge.

Ireland are seeded fifth in the tournament which runs from 4-21 April.

Ravenhill will also host the third-fourth place play-off and the final.

The tournament is split into two divisions of 12 teams, the seedings of all teams in Division A and the top six sides in Division B are based on the final standings at this year's tournament.

The 7-12 seeds in Division B represent teams that have qualified for the 2007 World Championship via regional tournaments and their seedings were drawn at random.

Romania, relegated from Division A in 2006, are seeded top and will play Georgia, USA and Canada in the Pool stages.

Tonga, runners up this year, plays Uruguay, Italy and the yet to be determined South American qualifier in the pool stages.

However, the hosts, who are coach by former Ulster coach Charlie McAleese, could not have asked for a tougher start.

Australia defeated New Zealand in last year's final in Dubai.

Romania, relegated from Division A in 2006, are seeded top and will play Georgia, USA and Canada in the Pool stages, while Tonga, runners up this year, plays Uruguay, Italy and the yet to be determined South American qualifier in the pool stages.

All 24 participating teams will be confirmed in January.

The three match venues for the Division B fixtures will be announced shortly along with the full broadcast schedule and ticketing details.



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