It will be the sixth World Championship at U21 level that coach Chris Davey has taken Wales to and he will be leaving the post at the end of the tournament.
Davey first took up the reigns as Wales U21 coach in 1998 and will have been in charge for 73 matches by the end of the tournament.
Commenting on the appointment of Hewitt as captain, Davey said: "Dafydd played for us in the World Championship last year and has played for us for over two seasons now so we feel he will bring that essential experience to the party in France.
"We have 10 uncapped players in the group - which is not ideal for this level of tournament - but, at the last count, we were about a dozen players down due to call-ups and injuries.
"Having said that, we've been encouraged by our recent training sessions as the squad has gelled well in a limited amount of time. They seem a very tight group and it will be interesting to see who emerges out of the tournament.
"While it is difficult to set objectives, we have to be aiming for a semi-final spot and, from past experiences, we will need 11 points from our three Pool matches to qualify for the last four.
"Georgia are, in many ways, an unknown quantity to us but they will be a big, physical side and we have to be looking to get a bonus point from that match if we are to have a chance of progressing to the last four.
"With France and Argentina our other two Pool matches, we certainly will have three physical games.
"We played France last in the Six Nations but I expect they will have kept something back for this tournament being the home side and we might well see something different from them.
"Finally Argentina will be very competitive and as we played them last year we know what to expect. Of course we want to win every game but we know that we have to beat France - or at least get something out of that game - so that we have something to play for against Argentina."