Grand Slam winning Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland has already told the Wales U20 players he will be keeping an eye on their performances at this Junior World Championship, and that some of them could well be in his squad for the next Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2011.
IRB vice-chairman Bill Beaumont, present at the official launch of the tournament in Cardiff Bay said: "Over the next three weeks, the rugby community here in Wales, travelling supporters and those watching on TV from further afield will be treated to an exciting display of international class rugby.
"This tournament will certainly unearth the next generation of global stars while also performing a key developmental platform for players, coaches and administrators and importantly leaving a lasting legacy to world rugby."
A key element of the WRU's vision for this tournament was to bring top class rugby to all four corners of Wales. WRU Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis said, "Whether you live close to Cardiff, Newport, Swansea or Wrexham, there will be a real feast of international rugby for all to enjoy and savour."
With tickets available from just £2 for children and £8 for adults in a policy aimed to make rugby accessible to all, it is hoped the tournament will leave a lasting legacy.
"We were determined for this tournament to be accessible to all and coupled with the top teams playing in all four corners of the principality, this ticketing strategy allows us to make that happen. Individuals and families that may not ordinarily be regular rugby watchers can take the opportunity to come along and enjoy an entertaining afternoon or evening out for all the family. In addition to the tickets on sale, hundreds of school children across Wales will have the chance to watch the matches as part of a tournament legacy programme funded by the Welsh Assembly Government."
Rhodri Glyn Thomas, the Minister for Heritage said: "I'm delighted that the Welsh Assembly Government has been able to work with the Welsh Rugby Union to bring the inaugural Junior World Championship at Under 20 level to Wales. I hope that people in north, south, east and west Wales take the opportunity to see the world's best young rugby talent on their own doorstep."
The tournament also benefitted from UK Sport's National Lottery backed World Class Events Programme. Simon Morton, UK Sport Events Consultant said: "The inaugural IRB Junior World Championships are set to be an extremely exciting competition, with the 16 best age group teams in the world competing all over Wales over the next couple of weeks. We are delighted to have supported this event through our National Lottery funded World Class Events Programme and wish the teams all the best with their final preparations."
In addition, a range of commercial sponsorship and broadcast deals will ensure the inaugural IRB Junior World Championship goes off with a bang. Leading fund management firm Invesco Perpetual is the tournament's principal partner, while Swalec have also provided financial backing. Webb Ellis, Rhino Rugby, Powerade, Seat, Kukri and Prince's Gate are providing vital products and equipment.
S4C and BBC Wales are the tournament's joint host broadcasters, covering at least 10 live games on both terrestrial and digital television, while the tournament will reach at least 70 countries and 300 million homes worldwide in a record-breaking global television reach for an international age grade tournament.
The IRB Junior World Championship tournament structure comprises four pools with the winner of each progressing to the last four to compete for the overall championship title, while the other teams will play for a positional ranking. Five match days, kicking off on Friday June 6 and ending with the final on Sunday June 22 will take place at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea, Cardiff Arms Park, Newport's Rodney Parade, and The Racecourse in Wrexham ensuring top class rugby action for families and rugby fans across Wales.
Wales are based in Swansea as Pool D's top seed, while the other top seeds are New Zealand (Pool A) in Cardiff, South Africa (Pool B) at Wrexham and Australia (Pool C) at Rodney Parade. The Championship final takes place at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea.
While the tournament matches will see the world's elite young players compete for international glory, the Junior World Championship will also leave a lasting impact for all levels of Welsh rugby, and on the community as a whole.
Children, coaches and clubs will be beneficiaries of a WRU-devised and delivered legacy programme to ensure the Junior World Championship leaves a lasting impact for Wales on many levels.
Around 5000 schoolchildren around Wales will tomorrow (Wednesday) have a chance to meet and quiz the international players staying and training in their area through an 'adopt a nation', initiative. The schoolchildren have been learning about the language, culture and heritage of one of the 16 participating countries and they will also be given free match tickets, to watch their 'adopted nation' in action in an initiative supported by the Welsh Assembly Government.
Other beneficiaries of the legacy programme will include community and elite coaches, who will be able to tap the brains of the international coaches coming to Wales, via open training sessions and an elite coaching forum in each region.
Fifteen rugby clubs and venues around Wales have been specifically chosen as 'host' clubs for the international teams. They will have the chance to keep a range of Rhino training equipment and Webb Ellis balls used by the teams once the teams leave Wales; they will also act as a link between the elite international side and the local community.
For full tournament schedule and preview material, go to www.irb.com/jwc