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 duo Rhun Williams and Liam Belcher, who makes a welcome return after five months of injury woe, look ahead to next month's World Rugby U20 Championship in Manchester where they will face Ireland, Georgia and New Zealand.
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