"The fact that so many of our players are making their mark in the Premiership is a good sign for our development structure," said Burnell. "A lot of the boys are not only featuring, they are adding a great deal to their sides' performances, as recognised by Sam's Player of the Month award for January."
Burnell has named Llanelli RFC lock Josh Turnbull as his skipper for the period leading up to the IRB U19 World Championships in April. After Friday's Test against Ireland, the side travel to Sorgues, near Avignon, to play France on February 23rd before hosting England on March 2nd at Aberavon.
Burnell said: "It was a close call between Josh and Sam (Warburton) for the role of captain but Josh brings more experience having been a key part of our U19 Six Nations campaign last season and having played in last year's IRB tournament in Dubai.
"He is very much in the mould of last year's Captain Bradley Davies, leading by example. He has come back to form having recently suffered from appendicitis.
"Sam Warburton, along with Narberth's Lloyd Phillips and Cardiff's Jevon Groves, will produce an exciting back row but overall I expect there to be more surprise packages emerging from this team than last year's U19 side where there was a huge sense of expectation. This is a workman-like side who work very hard as a unit.
"I am sure the Ireland side will be looking to make it three in a row after victories for their senior and U20 sides last week. They are proud of their development structure but we will be up for the challenge."
Friday February 16th 2007 (7.15pm) Stradey Park
Wales U19 team to face Ireland: Daniel Evans (Llanelli, Scarlets); James Egan (Cardiff, Blues), Luke Ford (Glamorgan Wanderers/Blues), Rhys Williams (Llanelli/Scarlets), Leigh Halfpenny (Neath/Ospreys); David Langdon (Ebbw Vale/Dragons), Gareth Williams (Glamorgan Wanderers/Blues); Ryan Bevington (Bridgend/Ospreys), Ben Roberts (Ebbw Vale/Dragons), Patrick Palmer (Llantrisant/Blues), Haydn Pugh (Llangennech/Scarlets), Josh Turnbull (captain, Llanelli/Scarlets), Jevon Groves (Cardiff/Blues), Lloyd Phillips (Narberth/Scarlets), Sam Warburton (Glamorgan Wanderers)
Replacements: Rhys Webb (Bridgend/Ospreys), Gareth Owen (Maesteg/Ospreys), Huw Dowden (Beddau/Blues), Lloyd Elliott (Tondu/Ospreys), Philip Price (Bridgend Athletic/Ospreys), Nathan White (Maesteg Quins/Ospreys), Nicholas Cudd (Tumble/Scarlets)