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 7s Manager Steff Thomas believes Luke Treharne has all the attriubutes to be a top class captain. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie hears his reasons why as the squad prepare for the opening two legs of the new World Series in Dubai and South Africa.
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.