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. The first championship in 2004 was won by France.
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 taken out by France, but of Europes top rugby playing nations, England, Wales and Scotland did not take part in the latest edition.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 2011 edition of the championship is scheduled to see a return of the absent three home nations, England, Scotland and Wales. For this purpose, the A division will be enlarged to twelve teams, while B and C remain at their current strength.
The D division forms the fourth level, below the C division, of European Under-18 rugby. In 2010, only four teams compete at this level, at a tournament held at Chişinău, Moldova, from 19 to 22 May 2010. It consists of the teams of Moldova, Israel, Croatia and Norway.