A traditional New Zealand Maori welcome launched the IRB Junior World Championship as captains and coaches gathered for the official tournament start in Auckland.
With just three days to go until the Under 20 tournament gets underway, Wales captain Steffan Hughes was the captains who met for the first time before getting ready do battle during the premier age-grade competition.
At the Orakei Marae in Auckland the players were joined by All Black legend and IRB Tournament Ambassador Jonah Lomu who passed on his words of wisdom.
"For me it's a great honour to be asked by the IRB to be an Ambassador for this Junior World Championship," said Lomu.
"I know what I have to do in terms of being out here and supporting the tournament but also I'm really looking forward to watching it, because the future of world rugby is here on our doorstep."
"This is the time when you see Rugby in its raw form and it's great. These guys are here to impress, they're still at the stage where they want to showcase their skills. These guys here could be the new household names of World Rugby."
Hughes said the Welsh squad have trained well since arriving in New Zealand earlier in the week, but they are now looking forward to their opening Pool B match against Fiji on Monday where they will travel south from Auckland to play at Pukekohe's ECOLight Stadium.
"New Zealand is a fantastic place, we're thoroughly looking forward to getting stuck into the games and looking forward to the challenge of getting to the semi-final and beyond again," he said.
"France are a very good team, they've won the Grand Slam, Ireland are going be very strong and Fiji will be very physical and skillful. Every game is a massive game and you have to win every game in this tournament."
Wales reached their first semi-final since 2013 in the opening round of this season's HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie recaps on what proved to be an eventful tournament
Wales and Ospreys back row James King, who came through the North Wales age grade system, nominated North Wales Regional Community Rugby Manager Marc Roberts, in the WRU's 'Diolch' initiative where squad players thanked those who played a part in their rise to the top.
Beating Merthyr has boosted Carmarthen Quins hopes of reaching a top eight spot in the Principality Premiership. Quins captain Haydn Pugh is delighted with his team's progress and is determined that everyone from the Under 6s through to the senior team, enjoys the ride.
When the Wales squad were asked to nominate individuals who played a big part in their early playing days, Wales and Dragons full back and wing Hallam Amos thought of his former Monmouth School rugby coach John Bevan.
Sam Cross and Luke Treharne have been named as co-captains of the Wales Sevens side as head coach Gareth Williams names his 12-man squad to play in the first leg of the HSBC World Series in Dubai next weekend.
Bedwas head coach Steve Law and players Nicky Griffiths and Alun Rees extol the virtues of the close knit club as they prepare to host third place RGC 1404 - who are one place head of them on the Principality Premiership points table - on Saturday.
Many of the Wales squad have said Diolch (thank you) to someone who played an important part in their early playing days by nominating them to be invited to the Wales v South Africa match. One person, Gowerton Comprehensive geography teacher Mr Dean Mason was nominated by two of his former pupils, Dan Biggar and Sam Davies.
The second WRU disability rugby pilot has been delivered, this time in Caerphilly schools, culminating in a festival at the Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach tomorrow. Plans are in place to set up a Disability Rugby Club in Newbridge to provide long-term playing opportunities.
WRU TV: Hear from inside the Wales camp as Neil Jenkins discusses this weekend's clash with South Africa and how the squad are looking to put in a strong performance to round of the 2016 Under Armour Series