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."
The WRU has teamed up with Crawshay's to tour Georgia in June. The side, which will be called the Crawshays WRU President's XV, will play Emerging Georgia twice, in a tour which supports the Welsh Government's efforts to grow relations between the two countries.
Wales Sevens are looking to re-group after a disappointing tournament last time out in South Africa. The next double leg in New Zealand and Las Vegas offers Gareth Williams a chance to redeem themselves.
Wales Women's head coach Rhys Edwards was at Llandovery to see the conclusion of an entertaining Women's Regional championship where any one of three teams were in contention for title glory on the last day of action.
Christmas has come early at Glynneath rugby club, one of a number around Wales who have received an array of merchandise and equipment this December courtesy of the Welsh Rugby Union's £750,000 participation points scheme.
The WRU have been delivering on the scheme - which gives individual clubs access to up to £5,000 worth of supplies and equipment each for the 2014/2015 season - over the last two weeks and today (Friday) were received by a special guest in Glynneath, club president and pitch marker Max Boyce.
As the countdown continues for RWC2015, Tournament Chief Executive Debbie Jevans visited the Millennium Stadium to discuss preparations for the eight matches and reveal the positive news that 100,000 tickets for games at the home of Welsh rugby have sold in the last seven days.
Jason Harries is targeting a first win on the World Series circuit this season with Wales. The series returns to action this weekend in Dubai where Harries is part of a team hoping to build from its efforts in round one in October.
Wales skipper Jevon Groves says his side have addressed a few points from Gold Coast and aim to 'hit the ground running' in the next two rounds of the World Series, kicking off with this weekend in Dubai before heading off to South Africa next week.