Wales Under 20s head coach Phil Davies is pleased with his side's marked progress this season, despite a heavy 68-13 loss to France in their final game of the Junior World Championship today.
Wales finished sixth in the IRB tournament, beating Tonga, Canada and Ireland, and losing to Australia and now France.
Davies said, "From this tournament and from the Six Nations, we've grown as players and people as well. When we come up against some of the top five sides in the world, we battle and we try hard, but we know we still have things to improve. But overall the players have worked very hard and the tournament has been very successful for us in lots of ways.
"The enthusiasm to set the tournament up was excellent. We've stayed in Fukuoka for nearly three weeks and it's become our second home. We want to go back to Wales, but we're sorry to leave in one way. The tournament has been a great learning experience for everybody - the management, the players and the coaches."
Captain Scott Andrews added: "We still see it the tournament as a success, even though this wasn't the result we were looking for today. The French team were a very good side and I think the better team won on the day."
Eight tries and a 33-point haul from their impressive fly half Pierre Bernard ensured France finished the IRB TOSHIBA Junior World Championship 2009 with a flourish at the Level 5 Stadium in Fukuoka.
France hit the ground running against Wales, just as they had done with a mesmerising opening half hour against South Africa in the pool stages, and the match was all but over by half time with the Under 20 Six Nations champions leading 33-6.
They settled any nerves that may have been there with Bernard's penalty within the first minute and the fly half had stretched France's lead to 9-0 by the time 10 minutes had elapsed with two more penalties.
A concerted period of pressure resulted in the first try, France captain Alexandre Lapandry touching down with Bernard again successful with the boot. Within minutes scrum half Nicolas Bezy snipped off the scrum to score under the posts.
Bernard's conversion and his third penalty made it 26-0 inside the opening quarter and, although Wales were finally able to get into the match and threaten the French 22, they turned over the ball and Remi Lamerat made a great break up the other end.
Another penalty kept the scoreboard ticking over and despite their commanding position France were in no mood to ease off against a side that had ended their semi final hopes in last year's Championship by winning the pool decider 23-19.
A clever low kick from Bernard split the defence and centre Lamerat had the simple task of gathering and grounding the ball near the posts to make it 33-0 after only 28 minutes. Wales, though, managed to build some possession and got on the scoreboard with two Matthew Jarvis penalties.
France started the second half in the same vein as they had begun the match, Bernard putting up a great cross field kick, which full back Djibril Camara collected near the line and touched down for his side's fourth try.
The match though was far more balanced in the second half with Wales running every ball in their attempts to cross the try-line but France still had the controlling influence even after their full back Camara was sent off with Wales losing two players to the sin-bin within minutes.
Replacement hooker Vincent Colliat and prop Rabah Slimani crossed while France had the man advantage, before Bernard got the try his performance warranted to make it 61-6 with 10 minutes remaining.
Bernard put up another chip and gathered the ball, then slipped a tackle and sent flanker Benoit Guyot in for France's eighth and final try, before Wales centre Jason Harries touched down in the corner.
Angus O'Brien has quickly settled into the Wales Sevens squad after solid performances in Hong Kong and Japan. With two rounds remaining in Glasgow and Twickenham on the World Series, WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie chats to the rising star.
Wales winger Luke Morgan has established himself as one of the deadliest finishers on the Sevens World Series. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie catches up with him on the eve of this weekend's round in Glasgow.
All roads lead to Cardiff on Sunday for the SSE SWALEC Finals Day at the Millennium Stadium. Cambrian Welfare tackle Ystradgynlais in the Bowl final, Ystrad Rhondda play Newcastle Emlyn in the Plate final while defending champions Pontypridd face Bridgend in the Cup final.
WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates and WRU Chairman Gareth Davies earlier this week launched a new competition in conjunction with the WRU unveiling its archive room.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Blues strike first in JD III battle - Newport Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones and Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees decide dressing room allocations for Judgement Day III
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.