"This team is made up of our best players picked on current form," said Burnell, who is also Blues Academy Manager and Cardiff RFC Head Coach. "This opening game against New Zealand is a fantastic opportunity to test ourselves against the best in the world at age group level. It is a crucial game for us; if we don't come away with at least a bonus point it will be very difficult to progress into the top four, which is where we want to be.
"We are going into the unknown with regards the opposition but we know that there is no such thing as a bad New Zealand team; at whatever level.
"We know that our academy system is producing players who are bigger, fitter and stronger than ever before but it is only when you play the best nations in the world that you get a real measure of where we are in the world game."
Young Ospreys centre Nick Harwood has flown out to Belfast to take his place on the bench for Wales on Thursday as a replacement for Luke Hathaway who has suffered an ankle injury in training.
The game will be televised by BBC 2 Northern Ireland and is available to viewers in the UK via the red button on the digital platform or on the BBC NI Channel.
Wales U19 v New Zealand
Daniel Evans (Llanelli/Scarlets), Jimmy Norris (Bedwas/Dragons), Luke Ford (Wanderers/Blues), Rhys Williams (UWIC/Scarlets), Leigh Halfpenny (Neath/Ospreys), Gareth Owen (Maesteg/Ospreys), Rhys Webb (Bridgend/Ospreys), Ryan Bevington (Bridgend/Ospreys), Huw Dowden (Beddau/Blues), Patrick Palmer (Llantrisant/Blues), Nathan White (Bridgend/Ospreys), Josh Turnbull (Llanelli/Scarlets), Sam Warburton (Capt, Wanderers/Blues), Nicholas Cudd (Tumble/Scarlets), Lloyd Phillips (Narberth/Scarlets)
Replacements (from): Ben Roberts (Ebbw Vale/Dragons), Lloyd Elliott (Ospreys), Phillip Price (Bridgend Athletic/Ospreys), Haydn Pugh (Llangennech/Scarlets), Jevon Groves (Cardiff/Blues), Jonathan Griffiths (Glynneath/Ospreys), Gareth Williams (Wanderers/Blues), David Langdon (Ebbw Vale/Dragons), Tom Williams (Bridgend/Ospreys), Nicholas Harwood (Bonymaen/Ospreys), James Egan (Cardiff/Blues)