The cancellation of the prestigious U20 rugby extravanganza marks the second year in a row that the event is called off.

World Rugby said in a statement: “The World Rugby U20 Championship 2021 will not take place this year due to the ongoing impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“The decision was made in consultation with potential hosts and participating unions considering all aspects from financial impact to player welfare implications.”

Rugby’s governing body added: “World Rugby is now working with regions and unions to identify regional competition opportunities in a safe environment, reflecting the international federation’s ambition to support meaningful high-performance competition pathways for the future stars of rugby.”

The Junior Springboks won the bronze medal in the last three tournaments played – in 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively – under the guidance of head coach Chean Roux.